Did you know that more than 3 million Americans have glaucoma? This disease is known as “the sneak thief of sight” because there are no symptoms leading up to the loss of vision. People over the age of 60 are at risk for developing glaucoma. If vision loss occurs, it is permanent. The good news is that glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. A simple vision test can screen for this eye disease and treatment can begin before vision loss occurs.
At Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle we urge our patients, particularly our senior citizens, to have regular eye exams. Failing vision is one of the main causes of falls for seniors which can have devastating consequences for your feet, including ankle sprains and fractures. If you are a senior or you have a loved one over the age of 60, encourage them to be tested for glaucoma and to have annual eye exams.
Taking good care of your eyes is one very important way for seniors to ensure good foot health. Here are some other tips to help older patients maintain healthy feet:
- Schedule regular podiatric exams. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, A. Bil Buksh, has a great deal of experience treating senior patients. There are foot conditions that are more likely to occur as you age and your foot doctor knows what to look for to detect these issues at their earliest stages.
- Check your feet and toenails daily (or have someone do for you if this is difficult). Look for changes in color, shape, size and any unusual bruising or bumps. Report anything unexpected to your podiatrist.
- Wash feet daily with a mild soap and water and dry completely, especially between your toes. Apply a rich moisturizer to keep skin from drying out and heel fissures from developing.
- Wear properly fitting, well-made shoes. Many foot problems can be prevented with this one tip. Be sure your shoes provide good arch and ankle support and that they do not rub or put pressure on any area of your foot or toes.
- Maintain good circulation. Avoid smoking as this impedes circulation. Also, don’t sit for long periods of time without stretch breaks and put your feet up whenever possible. Walk or exercise regularly.