Seniors may suffer vision issues and eye-related illnesses as they grow older. Families with loved ones who require additional assistance due to deteriorating vision have a variety of options. We examine a number of care choices that can help older folks preserve their vision and get the medical help they need.
Your chances of developing eye-related diseases and disorders grow as you get older. Schedule frequent eye exams to detect early signs of vision deterioration and maintain optimal eye health.
The consequences of ageing on vision might range from slight irritations to serious eye disorders. Reading small print becomes more difficult; adaptation from light to dark is slower; sensitivity to glare from sunshine or unshielded light bulbs is increased; and depth perception is lost.
It is crucial to monitor and address changes in your vision. Regular eye examinations can reveal abnormalities in your vision and help preserve your eyesight.
Most seniors can cure age-related vison loss by using glasses, taking prescribed medicines, or through undergoing surgery. Seniors can maintain their independence with the help of vision aids and by making medically advised home modifications. There are also a variety of services available to help elders adjust to gradual vision loss.
What can you do to safeguard your eyesight?
Have your eyes regularly checked by an eye doctor, such as an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Early detection and treatment can help avoid vision loss and the progression of more serious eye conditions. Make a list of questions and concerns to bring up with your doctor, as well as an updated medical record of your prescriptions. Some medications have adverse effects that can damage your vision.
Age-related alterations in vision might occasionally signal a more significant problem. Watery eyes in older age are often the result of sensitivity to light, wind, or temperature changes. In such circumstances, sunglasses and eye medications are helpful. Leaking tears, on the other hand, may suggest dry eye, infection, or a blocked tear duct. These disorders can be treated by your eye doctor.
Many people do not exhibit critical symptoms in the early stages of eye disease. A dilated eye exam performed by a vision care for seniors in ontario specialist is the most reliable way to discover common eye illnesses. When caught early, they are easier to treat and can be managed before they cause significant vision loss. If you are above the age of 50, you should get a dilated eye exam annually or as advised by your eye care specialist, even if you have good vision and do not wear contacts or glasses. Individuals with diabetes or hypertension are advised to have a dilated eye exam at least once a year.
Drops will be inserted into your eyes to dilate (enlarge) your pupils during a dilated eye examination, allowing the eye care specialist to see more clearly within each eye. You should expect your vision to blur following the exam as your eyes may become more sensitive to light. These effects last a few hours, so arrange for someone to drive you home.
If you use glasses or contact lenses, you should have your prescription checked on a regular basis. Even slight changes in vision can increase the risk of falls and injury. Wearing the correct prescription glasses or contact lenses is critical to preventing further vision damage.
Signs of Vision Loss
You or a third party may observe that you are experiencing vision loss symptoms as you get older. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Squinting and/or increased light sensitivity.
Choosing bright products or clothing over dull ones.
Spilling food or beverages due to depth and distance perception problems.
Having trouble copying written texts.
Developing sloppy habits, such as struggling to thread a needle or button a shirt.
Seeing flashes of light or fast movement in your peripheral vision.
Finding it difficult to drive at night.
Displaying unrestrained eye movement
Making mistakes while driving, such as failing to notice street signs and traffic lights.
Tripping or a fall caused by an unnoticed object on the floor or a missing step.
Serious Health Consequences of Blindness
In addition to the aforementioned changes and symptoms, a number of eye-related diseases and conditions can impact vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can impair the sharp, central vision required for everyday tasks such as driving and reading. During a dilated eye exam, your eye care professional will inquire about your family history and look for signs of AMD. Fortunately, there are available treatments and dietary supplements that can reduce the likelihood of deterioration.
Diabetes. If you have been medically diagnosed with diabetes, you may be at risk of diabetic retinopathy. There are currently no early warning symptoms of this condition. If you have diabetes, you should undergo a dilated eye exam at least once every year. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels can prevent or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. Laser surgery in mature stages of the disease can prevent it from further progressing.
Cataracts are cloudy regions on the lens of the eye that cause blurred or hazy vision. Some cataracts remain small and do not significantly impair vision. Others grow in size and affect peripheral vision. Cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that can restore vision. If you have a cataract, your eye doctor will monitor your condition over time to determine if you are eligible for the procedure.
Glaucoma is typically caused by excessive intraocular fluid pressure. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma patients do not typically exhibit symptoms or feel discomfort. You can protect yourself by undergoing annual dilated eye exams. Glaucoma is treatable with eyedrops, laser-related eye procedures, and surgery.
Dry Eye. Ineffective tear glands result in dry eyes. You might experience stinging or burning and a sand-like sensation as if something were in your eye, among other discomforts. Dry eyes are common in old age, particularly among women. To treat dry eyes, your eye care professional may recommend using a home humidifier and air purifier, special eye drops (artificial tears), or ointments. For more severe cases, prescription medications, tear duct plugs, or surgery may be recommended by a health care professional.
Floaters are little dots or specks that move around in the visual field. Eye movement may cause the spots to shift out of your central vision, which is a normal occurrence. However, if the number or types of spots change suddenly, you should consult your eye doctor immediately.
Reducing Your Risk
There are several steps you can take to protect your eyesight:
If you’re over 45, you should have your eyes examined on a regular basis.
A humidifier and eye drops can help relieve the discomfort of dry eyes (which can be gritty, scratchy, or burning). Surgery may be required in rare cases to manage more severe symptoms.
You may be more sensitive to light, wind, or temperature changes if your eyes are watering. Wearing sunglasses or eye protection may help to solve the problem. Watery eyes can be caused by an infection, inflammation, or a blocked tear duct, all of which are treatable. Speak to an eye care professional to determine the exact cause and treatment.
Turn on the lights. Changing a light bulb to a higher wattage can often be sufficient to improve vision. Eye strain can be reduced by using 100 or 150-watt light bulbs. Make sure the fixture can handle that amount of power. The use of strong lights to illuminate stairwells can also help prevent falls.
Quit smoking. Tobacco use is a substantial risk factor that can accelerate age-related macular degeneration at a younger age.
To reduce glare as much as possible, use decent lampshades, glare shields on computer monitors, and sunglasses. Sunglasses should provide UV-A and UV-B protection of between 99 to 100 percent. UV radiation can cause eye damage even on gloomy days.
Use protective face coverings to prevent eye damage from household accidents.
Apply a grease shield to foods when cooking.
Make sure spray cans and nozzles are pointed away from you when spraying.
When working with ammonia and other dangerous chemicals, wear safety glasses.
Watch out for a recoil when utilizing bungee cords.
Remember to eat your fruit and vegetables! A daily intake of important vitamins and minerals found in melons, citrus fruits, carrots, spinach, and kale can help reduce the progression of age-related eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Do not drive at night if you have problems with depth perception, glare, and experience other vision-related issues.
Want to learn more?
At ConsidraCare, our live-in caregivers are trained to work with seniors who are struggling with vision problems and related eye diseases. To speak to a care professional about our services, please reach out to us at email@example.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971.