Feb 22, 2018 by Mark McGoldrick
Seniors often experience vision problems. As a matter of fact, issues with vision are so widespread among the senior population that it is estimated that one-third of US seniors will develop an eye condition by the time they turn 65.
Nowadays, most vision issues can be managed or corrected with contacts, glasses, medications or surgery, all of which can allow seniors to continue leading an active and independent lifestyle. That is why it is so important to diagnose vision problems early on. With the help of a professional home caregiver, we have developed this concise guide to the most common eye conditions in seniors, enabling you to learn more about these issues and help your loved one maintain good eye health for longer.
One of the most widespread age-related conditions affecting the eyes, cataracts are cloudy parts in the lens, leading to blurry, hazy, and poor vision. The early symptoms of cataracts can be treated with glasses, contact lenses or magnifying lenses, but if neither of these measures helps, surgery is the only way to treat the condition with success.
Blurry vision is the most common symptom of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects the center of the retina, which is known as the macula. As the macula is responsible for sharp, high-resolution vision, performing activities that require acute, central vision such as driving can be difficult, if not impossible.
If your senior loved one has this condition, they should seek immediate treatment, as the disease may even be reversed. Seniors with AMD could greatly benefit from the assistance of an expert home caregiver, who can help them with their daily routine and boost independence.
While many people assume that glaucoma is one disease, it is actually a group of eye conditions that affect the optic nerve. Glaucoma is hard to recognize, as it may not show any symptoms whatsoever in its early stages. However, glaucoma can easily be diagnosed with simple eye tests, so your loved one should regularly check their eyes. Seniors with glaucoma must treat the condition, as it may lead to irreversible eye damage, blindness even. Treatment options include eye drops, medications, and eye surgery.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when there are not enough tears to lubricate or nourish the eyes. Some of the most common signs of dry eyes include discomfort, irritation, and discharge from the eyes. This condition can be treated in a variety of ways, including conserving or adding tears, increasing tear production or treating eyelids or eye inflammation.
There are also some vision problems that cannot be effectively treated. Issues that cannot be managed or corrected with medications, contacts or glasses, or surgery are often referred to as low vision. While low vision can reduce a person’s independence, there are now many solutions available that can allow for a high quality of life despite the condition. For instance, in addition to opting for vision training and using various aids designed for people with low vision, relying on a home caregiver can be of great help in overcoming some of the challenges of this issue.
To keep eye conditions under control and minimize the risk of complications, seniors should check their eyes at least once a year, lead an active, healthy lifestyle, and seek the assistance and support of a loving home caregiver, whether it is a trusted family member or trained expert.