A person’s vision is one of the most common things taken for granted until it’s gone or begins deteriorating. Like going to the doctor or dentist for a checkup annually, doing the same with an eye doctor can detect problems early and potentially correct them before any major harm is done. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 61 million Americans are considered to have a high risk of developing vision loss at some point, and of that number, just 50% have visited their eye doctor in the past year. If you’re the primary caregiver for an aging parent, be sure to take them to regular eye doctor visits to prevent these eye diseases that contribute to senior vision loss.
Cataracts are when the lens at the front of the eyeball becomes blurry, leading to deteriorated vision in some situations. Symptoms usually aren’t severe at first but can worsen over time if left untreated. Most of the symptoms include having blurry vision in general, inability to see well at night, needing bright lighting to see anything and not being able to distinguish different colors easily. These vision problems can make independent living dangerous, so visit an eye doctor when symptoms appear.
When there is excessive pressure on the optic nerve that connects to the brain from the back of the eye, glaucoma can develop. Some of the signs of glaucoma include eye pain, sudden visual disturbances, blurry vision in general, frequent headaches, seeing halos around lights, blind spots and more. Glaucoma can worsen over time, so it’s important to take your aging parent to the eye doctor as soon as possible to preserve their long-term vision.
AMD stands for age-related macular degeneration and impacts the middle of a person’s vision the most. If your aging parent has AMD, they will likely experience fogginess in everything they see, lines or waves in objects that are straight or a dark and blurry patch in the middle of their vision. Without proper action taken, AMD can lead to permanent vision problems and the potential for legal blindness. It does not lead to complete blindness since it does not impact a person’s peripheral vision.
Diabetic Eye Disease
A primary caregiver needs to monitor their aging parent with diabetes closely. Not properly controlling diabetes can lead to diabetic eye disease, which is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. When this occurs, the small blood vessels on the back part of the eye rupture and lead to blind spots or dark patches in certain areas of your vision.
We shouldn’t take our vision for granted because we don’t know when it could be taken away from us. However, with annual vision exams, eye doctors can discover potential issues early and may be able to prevent them from developing to the point where vision loss is a reality. Everyone should be able to enjoy their home and surroundings to the fullest extent, so contact Next Day Access if there’s anything we can do to help with home accessibility.