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Common Causes of Vision Loss in SeniorsJuly 3, 2020 0 Comment Category: Senior Health
Seniors often experience loss of vision as they age. Changes in sight are a common concern for the elderly and it requires them to wear eyeglasses to read or view the things ahead clearly. However, studies show that there are many other factors other than aging, which can affect the eyesight of seniors as well. Some of these risk factors can be avoided, which is why it is important to be aware of the warning signs and take preventative measures to avoid total vision loss. 24-Hour caregivers at your loved ones assisted living community will be able to determine the stage of vision loss and help provide them with the care they need.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Macular degeneration refers to the condition when a part of the retina, which is called the macula, is damaged. There are two different types of macular degeneration, and they both lead to the loss of central vision. In most cases though, the peripheral vision remains unchanged. While aging is a common risk factor for macular degeneration, there can be other underlying causes too that could lead to the vision problem. This includes being overweight, following a high-fat diet, smoking, and high blood pressure.
As there are no early symptoms of the condition, it is recommended to see an eye doctor regularly for screening and timely intervention. Assisted living communities can also help to reduce the progression of the disease by offering a special combination of vitamins and minerals in the diet.
This condition leads to a cloudy vision and can make day-to-day activities more difficult for seniors in assisted living communities. Most seniors will find even reading and watching TV difficult, which could take a toll on their overall health quality when at the senior care facility. The common symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, inability to see in dim light, and partial loss of vision in advanced stages.
The condition is more common in those who have a family history of cataracts or have had an eye injury. Smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure are also potential risk factors of the eye disease. Cataracts often develop slowly and can affect one or both the eyes, which is why timely diagnosis and treatment is recommended to prevent total loss of eyesight.
The risk of a torn or detached retina is much higher in seniors than in younger people. The condition happens when the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue. This can lead to a sudden experience of blurry vision, partial loss of vision, seeing flashes of light in the line of vision, seeing spots or shadows, and many other problems. Sensitivity to light, tunnel vision, inability to see in low light, and temporary loss of vision in one eye are the other common symptoms of the condition.
It is seen that seniors with a family history of retinal detachment are more prone to developing the condition. However, it is also common in older adults with nearsightedness or any kind of previous eye injury. The condition can also start in one eye and then move to affect both the eyes, leading to a permanent loss of vision.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of total vision loss in seniors. The condition happens when the optic nerve in the back of the eye is damaged. The symptoms of glaucoma are not very clear and most seniors do not even realize that they have the condition until it becomes worse. That is why an annual eye checkup is advised to adults over the age of 60 to determine the level of pressure in the eye and diagnose glaucoma at the earliest.
Apart from aging, other risk factors of glaucoma include being extremely nearsighted or farsighted, eye trauma, and using corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops. Assisted living communities can help with the treatment of glaucoma by making sure that the eye drops and medication are administered on time.