The Canadian Association of Optometrists notes 1 out of every 9 Canadians will experience some type of irreversible vision loss by the age of 65, and the figure is even higher for adults 75 and over. The reason this is the case is because of the many eye diseases and factors that can contribute to decreased eyesight in older adults. Keep reading to learn what tends to indicate vision issues in seniors and how vision loss risks may be reduced.
Diminished Central Vision
Central vision is what allows seniors to see well while driving, reading, or looking at faces when talking. This is the type of vision that’s often affected by age-related macular degeneration. It’s a condition that’s sometimes preventable with health and lifestyle adjustments, including:
• Getting regular exercise
• Maintaining normal blood pressure
• Eating nutrient-rich foods
• Not smoking
• Staying within a healthy weight range
Seniors with impaired vision may need assistance to be able to continue living safely at home. For many seniors in Waterloo, ON, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
Gradual Vision Changes
Some older adults eventually find themselves needing to read large-print books or experiencing blurriness that comes and goes. These are the types of subtle and progressive vision changes that tend to occur when seniors have cloudy eye lenses, or cataracts. Older adults with cataracts may also notice:
• Difficulty seeing in low-light situations
• Increased glare sensitivity
• Colors appearing duller
Cataracts aren’t always preventable. However, older adults may be able to minimize the risk of developing lens issues by managing diabetes and other chronic health issues, not excessively drinking alcohol, and getting regular eye exams.
More common in older adults, dry eyes can affect vision clarity because of reduced tear production. When present in seniors, it’s often a chronic condition resulting from an age-related decrease in tear secretion, which means it’s not always entirely preventable. Even so, older adults may be able manage dry eyes and minimize related vision issues by using humidifiers, taking breaks if reading or using computers for long periods, and using artificial tears when added eye lubrication is needed.
Loss of Side Vision
A group of eye diseases collectively referred to as glaucoma is more common in older adults. Such conditions can exist without symptoms until noticeable changes in side or peripheral vision are noticed. Moderate exercise may lower the risk of developing glaucoma by reducing eye pressure. Regular dilated eye examinations can be helpful as well.
If your loved one is living with vision loss and needs assistance with daily tasks, compassionate help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Waterloo families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Sudden Appearance of “Floaters” or Flashes of Light
These are classic symptoms associated with retinal detachment. Older adults have an increased risk of developing this eye problem when diabetes isn’t managed well, and this also applies to other chronic health issues. It’s not an entirely preventable issue, but seniors are less susceptible to having detached retinas if underlying health conditions are managed.
According to the Government of Canada’s website, approximately 90 percent of diabetes cases in Canada are type 2 diabetes. Seniors with this type of diabetes may have vision issues related to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects tiny blood vessels in the eyes and often results in fluctuating vision, impaired color vision, or dark or empty spots within the field of vision. Managing diabetes is the most effective way for seniors to avoid this eye problem.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional homecare services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.