When people reach around the age of 40, they start to experience changes in vision. That’s a normal part of aging. However, there are some eye diseases that are not normal. Older adults are at increased risk for certain eye diseases that can lead to vision changes and loss. Because April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, now is a good time to learn about common eye diseases your elderly mother could be at risk for, such as those listed below.
Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, making it hard to see. Normally, the lens is clear so that light passes easily through it and hits the retina at the back of the eye. The cloudiness caused by a cataract makes it hard for light to pass through the lens. Because cataracts usually develop slowly, the older adult may not even notice them until their vision is seriously impacted. Sometimes cataracts stay small and don’t require treatment. However, when they do cause a problem, doctors can treat them by removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve. It is often caused by having too much pressure in the eye because of a blockage in the normal flow of fluids. When glaucoma isn’t detected in its early stages, it can cause vision loss or blindness that cannot be reversed. Glaucoma doesn’t usually cause any symptoms early on, so it’s important for seniors to have their eyes checked regularly.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the top cause of vision loss in seniors. It affects the retina and destroys a person’s central vision. Without clear central vision, the older adult may be unable to do some tasks, like reading and driving. At first, the senior might have a blurry spot in their vision. The spot may get bigger as the condition progresses.
Having dry eyes is an uncomfortable condition that happens when the eyes don’t make enough tears or make tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes. The senior might have itchy eyes or a burning feeling. Typically, dry eyes don’t affect vision, but in severe cases, it can. There are treatments for dry eyes, including artificial tears, tear duct plugs, and surgery.
If your aging relative suffers from vision loss, home care can help. Home care providers can assist with tasks that require good vision, such as reading the mail. Home care providers can also guide the older adult while they walk to ensure they don’t trip and fall. If the senior takes medication for their eye condition, a home care provider can remind them when it’s time so that doses aren’t forgotten.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Fort Lauderdale, FL, please contact the caring staff at Alan Homemaker and Companion Services. Call us at (844) 925-2644. We service Palm Beach and Broward Counties in Florida.