Did you know that approximately one in 3 people that reach the age of 65 have some form of vision issue or vision-reducing eye disease?
Vision loss among the elderly population is a major health care concern, and vision impairment is associated with a decreased ability to perform the required activities of daily living and also put people at a higher risk of developing depression.
Here are the four most common causes of vision loss in the elderly population:
1. Macular Degeneration (age-related)- the loss of central vision affecting certain types of activities the most; like driving, reading, and recognizing faces. It is defined as a gradual yet progressive decline in vision, with some people first noticing that they require more light to see or have distortions in their sight.
2. Glaucoma- a group of eye diseases causing damage to the optic nerve which can lead to complete blindness if left untreated. Often beginning to affect peripheral vision, it can slowly creep towards the center of the person’s field of vision becoming more noticeable.
3. Cataracts- cloudy areas in the lens of the eye interfering with the sight which can cause blurry vision, inability to see in low-light conditions, and increased sensitivity to glare. By the age of 75, approximately half of all Americans will have cataracts.
4. Diabetic Retinopathy– a result of progressive damage to the blood vessels in people with diabetes, usually affecting both eyes and at its most severe, can lead to complete blindness.
For seniors receiving elderly care at home, it is vital to be aware of any signs and reported symptoms that they are experiencing with regards to the health of their eyes, but unfortunately, many eye diseases have no early symptoms, develop without any pain, and many elderly people don’t notice any vision changes until a condition of the eye is in an advanced stage.
People with a family history of eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration, and elderly people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or who take certain medications that can cause side effects related to the eyes are at the greatest risk for developing problems with their vision. If your senior or loved one receiving elderly care meets any of these criteria, be especially vigilant and proactive about the health and care of their eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults aged 65 or older get a complete eye exam every year, to every two years if there are no symptoms, or whatever your senior’s ophthalmologist recommends.
Healthy lifestyle choices, regular eye examinations, and early detection are key and can significantly improve your senior’s chances of avoiding serious issues with their eyes and their vision as they age.
Home care can provide services and solutions with multiple options and be tailored to your particular needs.