If it seems to you that newspaper print keeps getting smaller and smaller as we grow older, you’re not alone! Most of us find ourselves challenged by trying to read the fine print, so to speak – holding printed materials at arm’s length, putting on reading glasses, or making use of a magnifier.
Although not everyone experiences eye sight concerns with aging, there are some conditions that are more common than others. It’s important for all of us to visit the eye doctor annually, regardless of whether any changes in vision are encountered, as a preventive measure and to allow the doctor to identify any of the more serious conditions early, such as:
- Retinopathy: Retinopathy can develop in individuals with diabetes, which can cause a leak or blockage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s important to understand that diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, making it especially critical for diabetics to maintain ongoing, regular check-ups with the eye doctor, and to be meticulous in managing their disease.
- Macular Degeneration: As the name suggests, this condition arises when the tiny macula in the eye proceeds to break down, causing distorted eyesight when looking straight ahead. Surgery can help in some cases, but it’s important for individuals diagnosed with macular degeneration to learn about and implement tactics to most effectively utilize their remaining peripheral vision. Macular degeneration does not result in full blindness.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma causes elevated fluid pressure in the eye, ultimately causing injury to the optic nerve, and can lead to blindness, in particular if left diagnosed. Treatment methods may include surgery and/or eye drops to prevent vision loss from progressing.
- Cataracts: Extremely common in older adults, cataracts are the result of clouding of the lens, and can be rectified with a simple, safe, and efficient replacement of the cloudy lens with a new clear lens.
If encountering any of these symptoms, seek medical assistance promptly:
- Abrupt onset of loss of vision which may possibly indicate the presence of a detached retina, a hemorrhage, stroke, or other serious issue.
- A crossed eye or double vision, which can suggest a neurological concern such as a stroke.
- Eye pain can be the result of an infection, abrasion, increased eye pressure, or other serious concern. When pain accompanies nausea, vomiting, headache or the appearance of halos around lights, it might be the result of acute glaucoma.
- Light flashes can appear when the retina is detaching.
- Sudden discharge from the eye or redness in one or both eyes can occur when the eye is infected.
Compassionate Nursing Services, the top St. Louis home care agency, is always readily available to assist older individuals in achieving optimum eye health. We can provide accompanied transportation to doctors’ appointments, procedures, and checkups, follow any changes in eye health so that they’re addressed immediately, minimize the risk of falls in the home for those with vision problems, and so much more.