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Causes of Vision Loss in Older Adults

Senior Care in Thomasville GA

Along with the immune system and bones, the vision of older adults greatly diminishes as they age. According to the AAFP, one in three adults over the age of 65 have a vision-reducing eye Senior-Care-Thomasville-GAdisease. This physical impairment is a major problem among the elder demographic and will only get worse as the population continues to get older. By the year 2030, there will be about 70 million people over 65 in the world, many of whom will be affected by vision diseases. These diseases make it near impossible for elders to accomplish even the simplest daily activity, resulting in feelings of depression. Here are the four most common eye diseases:

Glaucoma
About one million Americans over 65 are affected by blindness that comes with this condition. There are several forms of glaucoma, but the most common is primary open-angle glaucoma, being responsible for about 10 percent of blindness in the United States. This is a slow moving condition that generally does not impact the vision until in the later stages. Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include:

  • Patchy blind spots in their peripheral vision, usually found in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision as the condition progresses

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is another form of this eye condition, caused by a rapid increase of pressure in the eyes. Symptoms of this condition are:

  • Eye pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

If treated early enough, your loved one who is getting in-home care may be able to prevent blindness altogether.

Age-related Macular Degeneration
The macula, or area of the retina responsible for central vision, becomes degenerated, making age-related macular degeneration the leading cause of vision loss among those over the age of 65. Aging, hypertension, smoking, and family history are all factors that could put your loved one at risk. Symptoms of this eye disease include:

  • The center of vision becomes distorted
  • Dark, blurry, or white out appears in the center of vision
  • Color perception may be diminished, but this is very rare

People with this condition should pay close attention to changes in their vision and inform their ophthalmologist immediately if changes are evident.

Diabetic Retinopathy
As diabetes progresses, diabetic retinopathy may become prevalent. It may be diagnosed in the elderly during the early stages of diabetes or within the first few years of the diagnoses. Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Dark strings or spots floating in their vision
  • Dark or empty areas in their vision
  • Vision loss

This vision impairment usually affects both eyes, but can often be prevented by carefully managing their diabetes.

Cataract
This is a common vision disease among the elderly, causing their vision to become cloudy and possibly blinding them. Symptoms include:

  • Blurred, clouded, or dim vision
  • Increased vision difficulty at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Colors become faded or yellowed
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Frequent changes to eyeglass prescriptions
  • Halos around lights

Only a small portion of their vision will be affected at first, but will eventually cloud their entire vision as the condition progresses.

Knowing what eye diseases may occur and what symptoms to look for will give you insight on when it is necessary to contact the optometrist.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Thomasville, GA, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today: (FL) 850-386-5552, (GA) 229-236-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida & South Georgia

Source
Quillen, David A. American family Physician. “Common Causes of Vision Loss in Elderly Patients.” 1 Jul 1999.

Brian Moran, RN, Marketing Director, Partner

Marketing Director, Partner at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care
Brian Moran, RN is both a Partner and Director of Marketing for Hopewell In-Home Senior Care. Brian has worked at the Bellevue Hospital in NYC, Tallahassee Community Hospital, Select Specialty Hospital and has over 12 years’ experience as a home health care nurse at American Home Patient. Since joining Hopewell In-Home Senior Care in 2008, Brian has used his knowledge of health care and local resources to help seniors in Tallahassee, FL navigate the medical resource maze. His goal is to assist seniors and their families by increasing awareness, affordability and quality of in-home caregiver services for those who wish to age in place.

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