If it appears as if newspaper print is becoming smaller and smaller as you age, you’re in good company! The majority of us find ourselves struggling to read the fine print, so to speak – holding printed materials at arm’s length, putting on reading glasses, or grabbing a magnifier.
Though not everyone experiences vision concerns in aging, there are several conditions that are more common than others. It’s essential for each of us to visit the eye doctor on an annual basis, whether or not any vision changes are noticed, as a measure of prevention and to allow the doctor to catch some of the more serious conditions early on, such as:
- Retinopathy: Retinopathy occurs in people with diabetes, which can cause a leak or blockage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s significant to note that diabetes is the leading cause of loss of vision, making it especially vital for diabetics to stick to ongoing, regular check-ups with the eye doctor, and to be meticulous in managing the disease.
- Macular Degeneration: As the name denotes, this condition develops when the tiny macula in the eye begins to break down, causing distorted eyesight when looking straight ahead. Surgery can help in some instances, but it’s important for individuals diagnosed with macular degeneration to learn about and implement techniques to most efficiently utilize their remaining peripheral vision. Macular degeneration does not result in full blindness.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes increased fluid pressure in the eye, ultimately causing injury to the optic nerve, and can cause blindness, in particular if left diagnosed. Treatment options can include a surgical procedure and/or eye drops to prevent vision loss from advancing.
- Cataracts: Extremely commonplace in older adults, cataracts are the result of clouding of the lens, and can be corrected with a simple, safe, and efficient replacement of the cloudy lens with a new plastic lens.
If experiencing any of the symptoms below, seek medical assistance right away:
- Abrupt onset of loss of vision which could signify the occurrence of retinal detachment, a hemorrhage, stroke, or other serious concern.
- A crossed eye or double vision, which, in either case, may indicate a neurological problem such as a stroke.
- Pain in the eye, which can be the result of an infection, abrasion, elevated eye pressure, or other serious concern. When the pain comes with nausea, vomiting, headache or the appearance of halos surrounding lights, it might be caused by acute glaucoma.
- Light flashes can occur when the retina is detaching.
- Sudden eye discharge or redness in one or both eyes can happen when there is an infection in the eye.
The Ames home care team at At-Home Care Company is always available to assist seniors in maintaining optimum eye health. We can provide transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments, procedures, and checkups, track any changes in eye health so that they’re addressed right away, minimize the risk of falls in the home for those with vision problems, and so much more.