Do you have an elderly parent that you care deeply about that needs some extra care when it comes to aging well with healthy vision? Staying on top of healthy vision is imperative for senior patients, as vision can change quickly at this age.
Loss of vision among the elderly is a serious health issue and can lead to many other issues, such as depression, falling, and poorer quality of life. Over 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 has some sort of vision-reducing eye disease that affects their daily life. It’s necessary to frequently get your eyes checked to identify and treat any issues as soon as possible.
Common Age-Related Vision Problems
Taking care of vision concerns and getting your eyes checked as often as possible is imperative for the elderly, particularly for identifying and treating common visual impairment issues such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and more.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): A leading cause of vision loss in people over 65. AMD is characterized by the degeneration of the macula, the area responsible for central vision functions. Divided into two categories: nonexudative (dry) and exudative (wet). Risk factors include increasing age, cardiovascular issues, and higher risk if a smoker. Since AMD is such a common threat among persons over the age of 65, doctors recommend a yearly eye exam to catch signs early.
Glaucoma: A significant cause of blindness caused by damage to the glaucomatous optic nerve and visual field loss. It’s estimated that 1 million Americans over 65 have experienced loss of vision associated with glaucoma.
Cataract: This is a common cause of vision impairment in the elderly and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the US, blindness is not as prevalent because there are safe and effective surgeries available. Refers to the lens opacities that interfere with vision function.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Leading cause of new blindness among middle aged Americans. Also a leading cause of vision morbidity in senior citizens. Risk goes up with the increasing duration of diabetes in adults.
Tips to Prevent Vision Loss as You Age
There are a few ways to help protect our vision as we age and prevent common issues from affecting our livelihood. If you take these steps to care for your vision as you age, you’ll reduce the risk of visual health issues such as the common problems listed above.
Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones age well with healthy vision:
- Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet: make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maintain a healthy weight: obesity increases the risk of health issues including vision problems.
- Exercise Regularly: exercise can help prevent diabetes, high cholesterol, and more issues that can lead to vision problems.
- Wear sunglasses outside: protecting your eyes in the sun can help prevent vision loss as you age.
- Wear protective eye wear when necessary: again, protecting those eyes is important!
- Avoid smoking: smoking increases your risk for macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Know your family’s medical history and the higher risk factors: knowing your family’s medical history can help prevent genetic vision problems as you age.
- Know your other risk factors as you age: if you are prone to heart disease or other eye issues, it’s important to know early on.
- If you wear contacts, keep them clean and free of dirt: give your eyes a break from contacts as often as possible. Make sure to keep your cases clean and free of dirt or debris.
- Give your eyes a rest from screens: if you work on a computer or watch TV regularly, give your eyes a break every few hours to adjust and reset.
Reflections Senior Home Health Care
At Reflections Management and Care, we understand that mobility may be an issue for some senior citizens. Frequently visiting the eye doctor may not be a viable option. We provide in-home health care and geriatric health management services, so your loved one can receive high-quality care without having to leave the comfort of their own home.
Contact us today to receive a free consultation and learn more about how you can better care for your elderly with senior home health care!