If it seems to you as though newspaper print is getting smaller and smaller as we age, you’re in good company! Lots of us find ourselves struggling to read the fine print, so to speak – holding reading materials at arm’s length, putting on reading glasses, or grabbing a magnifier.
While not everyone encounters eyesight concerns in aging, there are a few conditions that are more commonplace than others. It’s essential for everyone to visit the eye doctor on an annual basis, regardless of whether any changes in vision are experienced, as a preventive measure and to allow the doctor to detect some of the more serious conditions as soon as possible, such as:
- Retinopathy: Retinopathy can arise in people with diabetes, which can cause a leak or obstruction to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s important to note too that diabetes is the most common cause of loss of vision, making it especially vital for diabetics to maintain ongoing, routine checkups with the eye doctor, and to be meticulous in the management of their disease.
- Macular Degeneration: As the name suggests, this condition develops when the tiny macula in the eye proceeds to break down, resulting in distorted eyesight when looking straight ahead. Surgery can help in some circumstances, but it’s important for those diagnosed with macular degeneration to learn about and implement practices to most efficiently utilize their remaining peripheral vision. Macular degeneration does not lead to full blindness.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes elevated fluid pressure in the eye, ultimately causing injury to the optic nerve, and can lead to blindness, in particular if left undetected. Treatment choices can include surgery and/or eye drops to keep vision loss from progressing.
- Cataracts: Extremely prevailing in older individuals, cataracts are the result of clouding of the lens, and can be remedied with a simple, safe, and efficient replacement of the cloudy lens with a new plastic lens.
If encountering any of these symptoms, seek medical assistance promptly:
- Abrupt onset of vision loss which can potentially signify the presence of a detached retina, a hemorrhage, stroke, or other serious issue.
- A crossed eye or double vision, which can suggest a neurological problem such as a stroke.
- Pain in the eye can be the result of an infection, abrasion, elevated eye pressure, or other serious medical problem. When the pain occurs with nausea, vomiting, headache or the appearance of halos surrounding lights, it could be the result of acute glaucoma.
- Flashes of light can happen from a detaching retina.
- Sudden eye discharge or redness in one or both eyes occurs when the eye is infected.
Hearts at Home In-Home Care, providing the high quality senior care Overland Park, KS families rely on, is always readily available to assist older adults in maintaining optimum eye health. We can provide transportation to medical appointments, procedures, and checkups, observe any changes in eye health so that they’re addressed right away, reduce fall risks in the home for those with vision problems, and so much more.