How to Know if Your Loved One is Losing their Eyesight?

older man holding his eye glasses in hand rubbing eye in pain
Something like 3.5 million Americans over the age of 40 have some degree of vision loss, and although it is not total blindness, it does frequently call for some kind of re-learning or the acquisition of new skills to make up for the loss. If you have an elderly loved one or if you know of seniors losing their eyesight, there are a number of reasons why age-related vision loss may have occurred in these individuals. Elderly care can help mitigate this loss, but it helps to know the specific cause, so appropriate steps can be taken.

Macular degeneration 

This is actually the #1 cause of vision loss in people aged 50 and above in the Western countries of our globe. There are two different forms of this degeneration, those being wet and dry macular degeneration. Dry degeneration occurs very slowly, and might be ongoing for a number of years before it’s detected. Fatty deposits called drusen form on the eye’s macula, which helps to discern detail, and over time the situation can worsen into wet macular degeneration. Wet degeneration only comprises about 10% of all cases, and it is caused by the formation of abnormal blood vessels around the macula. In this form of macular degeneration, vision loss occurs more quickly, and it generally causes loss of vision in the eye’s center.

Glaucoma 

This is a disease which affects your eyes by having fluid build up on the optic nerve of the eye. That pressure eventually causes damage to the eye, and the damage can become so severe that it actually leads to blindness. In people over the age of 60, this is the most common cause of blindness, and this is regrettable, because with early treatment, the effects of glaucoma are largely preventable. 

Cataracts

Cataracts affect people’s vision by clouding over the lens of the eye, and making things seem blurry or difficult to identify details. It’s also possible for people afflicted with cataracts to have double vision, or to be extremely sensitive to the lighting in an environment. Sometimes it becomes difficult to see clearly at night, or it may be necessary to have more light when you’re trying to read a book or magazine. Some people with mild cataracts have difficulty identifying colors, seeing them as faded or yellow-ish, when in actuality they may be bright and multi-colored.

Diabetic retinopathy 
People with diabetes can have their high blood sugar level cause damage to the eye’s retina. When the blood vessels swell, they can also leak and that will cause further damage to the surrounding area, or they can simply close and prevent any blood from passing through. In some cases, new blood vessels can even develop in the area, and all of these new developments can trigger vision loss in the person affected. 
 
When you have a caregiver assisting with your loved one’s care, they are attentive and observant to all aspects of their care.  They may notice when health issues begin or become worse.  If you need help with a loved one’s care, contact us at Gentle Shepherd Home Care.  
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