If it seems as though newspaper print keeps getting smaller and smaller as we grow older, you’re not alone! Many of us find ourselves struggling to read the fine print, so to speak – holding printed materials at arm’s length, donning a pair of reading glasses, or reaching for a magnifying glass.
While not everyone experiences vision problems in aging, there are some conditions that are more common than others. It’s important for everyone to visit the eye doctor annually, regardless of whether any vision changes are experienced, as a preventative measure and to enable the doctor to catch some of the more serious conditions early, such as:
- Retinopathy: Retinopathy occurs in those with diabetes, which can cause a leak or blockage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s important to note as well that diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, making it especially critical for diabetics to stick to ongoing, regular checkups with the eye doctor, and to be meticulous in their management of the disease.
- Macular Degeneration: As the name suggests, this condition arises when the tiny macula in the eye begins to break down, resulting in distorted vision when looking straight ahead. Surgery can help in some cases, but it’s important for those diagnosed with macular degeneration to learn and utilize techniques to make the best use of their remaining peripheral vision. Macular degeneration does not lead to full blindness.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes elevated fluid pressure in the eye, leading to damage to the optic nerve, and can cause blindness, especially if left undetected. Treatment options can include surgery and/or eye drops to prevent vision loss from progressing.
- Cataracts: Extremely common in older adults, cataracts are the result of clouding of the lens, and can be corrected with a simple, safe, and effective replacement of the cloudy lens with a new plastic lens.
If experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately:
- Sudden vision loss which could signify the presence of retinal detachment, a hemorrhage, stroke, or other serious concern.
- A crossed eye or double vision, either of which may indicate a neurological problem such as a stroke.
- Eye pain can be the result of an infection, abrasion, increased eye pressure, or other serious concern. When pain accompanies nausea, vomiting, headache or the appearance of halos around lights, it might be the result of acute glaucoma.
- Flashes of light can occur when the retina is detaching.
- Sudden eye discharge or redness in one or both eyes occurs when the eye is infected.
The Butler senior care team at Absolute Companion Care is always available to assist elders in maintaining optimum eye health. We can provide transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, procedures, and checkups, track any changes in eye health so that they’re addressed immediately, reduce fall risks in the home for those with vision problems, and so much more.
Call us at 410-357-9640 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more!