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5 Major Causes of Vision Problems for Seniors

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Statistics indicate up to one third of adults experience some type of visual impairment by the time they reach the age of 65. Any type of visual problem may cause a loss of visual/motor coordination and reduced depth perception, which could lead to accidents in the home or while driving. Here are some of the most common visual impairments in the elderly and what to do about them.

1. Presbyopia

This condition results from hardening of the lens or ciliary muscle loss and choroidal inelasticity. As a result, seniors have blurred vision at certain distances. Symptoms include eye fatigue when reading for extended lengths of time. Seniors may also lose the ability to read fine print. Text is often held at arm’s length to bring the words into focus. Common treatment options include reading glasses, bifocals, multifocal glasses, and intraocular lenses.

2. Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration remains the leading cause of visual impairment in seniors over 65. The condition involves deterioration of the macula in the retina. Approximately 90 percent of these cases are of the nonexudative (dry) variety. The problem develops when Drusen deposits accumulate on the macula. Seniors need annual eye exams to catch the problem early. Increasing the number of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can lower the risk. The list of foods includes:

• Apples
• Broccoli
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Corn
• Cucumbers
• Egg yolks
• Grapes
• Green beans
• Honeydew melon
• Kiwi
• Mango
• Peas
• Squash
• Spinach

The exudative (wet) form of the disorder may be treated using specialized medications or corrective surgery.

Seniors with vision impairment may need assistance to be able to continue living at home. For many seniors in Richardson, TX, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

3. Glaucoma

Statistics indicate more than one million senior citizens have glaucoma. Open-angle forms of the disease are the most common and progressive, and they often affect both eyes. If left untreated, glaucoma leads to blindness. The disorder occurs when the eyes are no longer able to drain excess aqueous fluid, which leads to intraocular pressure. Eye drops designed to enhance fluid flow are often the first type of treatment offered. Some older adults may be candidates for surgical intervention. Seniors are advised to get eye exams every one to two years for early detection and treatment.

4. Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common reasons for blindness. The disorder develops secondary to opacities that develop on the lens. During the early phase, seniors experience blurred vision or glare. As the disease progresses, visual ability decreases. Surgery must be performed to correct the problem. The cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a special implant. More than 90 percent of seniors who have cataract surgery have increased visual ability. 

If your aging loved one is living with vision loss and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

5. Diabetic Retinopathy

This diabetes-related condition may involve minute aneurysms, hemorrhages, or wool spots on the retina. Other factors may include retinal edema, microvascular abnormalities, or exudates. Seniors experience blurring or distortion in the center of their visual fields. Laser surgery is often used to treat the problem. Management of blood sugar, cholesterol, and hypertension are also necessary.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (469) 573-4213 today.