While people of all ages can experience eye diseases, the odds of it happening in elderly people are much greater. Many of the eye diseases begin without many symptoms, making it easy for them to be overlooked as nothing significant. However, with annual eye exams, an eye doctor can spot the warning signs and start treatments before the diseases progress too far. Family caregivers that are managing the elderly care of their relative need to make eye exams a priority.
Here are 5 eye diseases that are common in elderly people:
1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
This is an eye disease that can lead to blurred vision or even blindness. It affects the macula in the retina, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for the sharpest focus. It can appear in one or both eyes, and is most likely to develop in people over 60 years old. Those with high blood pressure and a history of smoking are at the highest risk.
When pressure inside the eyes is too high, it can cause damage to the optic nerve. Known as glaucoma, the condition can appear in one or both eyes and is a major cause of blindness in seniors when it is not treated. Medicine can help slow the progression and eventually surgery will be needed. Glaucoma can’t really be detected in the early stages outside of a professional eye exam, so it‘s important that eye doctors do an eye pressure test regularly.
3. Diabetic Retinopathy
The effects of diabetes can even reach the eyes as high blood sugar affects the small blood vessels located in the retinas. As the blood vessels are affected, an elderly person’s vision gets worse. Diabetic retinopathy can start out as mild vision issues and quickly advance when not treated. It can lead to blurred vision, loss of central vision, floaters and eventually blindness. While there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, proper management of diabetes plus medicine and a healthy diet can slow down the disease.
This eye disease is particularly prevalent in seniors over the age of 80, although earlier is still common. The lenses in one or both eyes become cloudy, causing a haziness as well as double vision, reduced nighttime vision and light sensitivity. An eye doctor can identify cataracts early and help patients with treatments that slow the condition down.
5. Giant Cell Arteritis
Blockage in small arteries located in the temple can trigger all kinds of eye problems, including blurred vision, double vision and even loss of vision. This autoimmune disease is more common in those with a family history of the condition and generally appears in elderly people. With early treatment, the condition can be managed and vision loss can be prevented.
These are just a few of the vision problems that are common in elderly people. That’s why family caregivers need to make arrangements for their loved ones to get regular eye exams. So many of these diseases have a better chance of low impact when they are caught early and only an eye doctor is able to see the early warning signs. Family caregivers should make annual eye exams a part of the elderly care plan to keep their loved ones in the best health possible and avoid eye problems in their golden
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in Redington Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.