Do you wear glasses? If not yet, you might want to start looking at styles. Depending on your age, you will be wearing them soon enough. Take a look at the number of seniors who wear glasses. That should tell you that our vision changes as we get older- and usually not for the better. But, is there anything you can do about it? Loss of vision is just a symptom of getting older, right? Well…yes….and no. Your vision will change, but how dramatically can depend on a few factors.
Don’t be fooled by the title; all vision changes will play a major role in your life. But, some are more serious than others. Presbyopia is the most common cause of failing vision in adults. Usually starting after 40, presbyopia is the hardening of the lens in your eye. This makes it more difficult to focus. This is not a serious condition as it can be easily corrected with reading glasses or contact lenses. There are surgical options for more serious cases. Another common vision issue associated with age are cataracts. Formed by protein that clumps together on the eye, cataracts will cloud your vision. Cataract surgery is very safe and will usually completely restore vision. Other common age-related eye issues include loss of peripheral vision, inability to see in low light, decreased colour perception, and floaters. For the most part, these issues are linked to aging and difficult to completely avoid. The best solution is to visit the eye doctor regularly and correct the issues as they occur.
Some conditions are much more serious and can lead to complete vision loss if not treated. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in Canada. Currently, 1.4 million Canadians are living with AMD. AMD occurs when the retina is damaged by outside factors. The most common factor is age. It is difficult to avoid AMD, so the best defense is regular eye exams. If detected early, AMD can be treated with lasers. Another serious eye condition that plagues the elderly is glaucoma. A condition that leads to pressure damaging the eye nerves, glaucoma affects more than 40,000 Canadians. The likelihood of glaucoma increases as you grow older. Once again, regular eye exams will detect disease early. Another thing to consider is diseases and conditions that can indirectly lead to blindness. Most notably, those suffering from diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. The blood vessels in the eyes being starved of oxygen can lead to blindness. Be vigilant of this if your loved has diabetes.
You can’t stop the aging process, but you can keep ahead of vision problems. Early detection means that the problems can be addressed early and before they get out of hand. So, make sure you and your loved one are getting regular eye appointments. It can make all the difference.
Caring for an elderly loved one is a challenge. There is so much to remember, so much to do, and so much to consider. You want them to be safe, but you also want them to be comfortable. That is why home health care or live-in care can be a blessing. iCare Home Health will provide a licensed and qualified home caregiver in Mississauga who will come right to your loved one’s home. Whether they need a nurse to help with medication and general caregiving, someone to do light housekeeping, a handyman, or a permanent live-in caregiver, iCare Home Health has what they need. Our services cover a variety of needs. Contact us today and see how we can help you and your loved one.