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Age-Related Eye Diseases & How to Keep Them at Bay

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Minor vision loss is a normal part of aging, and it is rarely caused by serious diseases. In most cases, seniors and their loved ones need to be worried when the vision loss is sudden or accompanied by other unusual symptoms. Here are a few of the most prevalent age-related eye diseases and what can be done to prevent them. 

Cataracts

When too much protein accumulates in the lens of an eye, it can cause a cataract. In the earliest stages of this condition, seniors may experience hazy vision, difficulty seeing at night, increased sensitivity to light, and difficulty identifying certain colors. One of the most effective ways to prevent cataracts is to protect the eyes from sun damage by wearing sunglasses and hats. Some studies have shown cigarettes might increase the risk of cataracts as well, so seniors who smoke should consider quitting. 

A cataract is one of the many diseases that can affect your loved one’s quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Fairfield home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Glaucoma

Contrary to what many people believe, glaucoma is actually a group of conditions that could potentially damage the optic nerve. Scheduling regular eye exams is one of the best ways to detect and treat glaucoma before it does permanent damage. When glaucoma is diagnosed early, vision loss can be prevented with professional treatments such as prescription eye drops and laser treatment. Traditional eye surgery might be needed if the eye drops and lasers prove ineffective. 

Retinopathy

One of the major complications of diabetes is a unique condition known as retinopathy. As diabetes progresses, vessels in the eyes begin to grow in unusual places and burst when they have no more room to expand. Doctors may be able to remove the vessels before they cause permanent damage, but controlling blood sugar levels is a much safer option. Seniors with diabetes can manage their blood sugar levels with dietary changes and prescription medication. 

Macular Degeneration

Seniors who have this condition rarely lose their vision, but it can make everyday tasks like driving and reading extremely difficult. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco products, and switching to a healthy diet can reduce a senior’s risk of age-related macular degeneration. Once this condition damages the eyes, lasers can be used to partially restore eyesight. A large study funded by the National Eye Institute has revealed that taking vitamin C, copper, and zinc supplements could potentially slow the rate of degeneration as well. 

In Fairfield, CT, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. With the help of professional respite care, your loved one may be able to enjoy a higher quality of life and manage the symptoms of several diseases.

Retinal Detachment

Most people think of retinal detachment as an acute injury, but it can also be caused by a wide variety of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, retinal disease, and cancer. A large percentage of seniors never realize their retinas are starting to detach until the damage has already been done, which is another reason it is important to have annual eye exams. To prevent permanent blindness, seniors who have been diagnosed with this condition must schedule regular appointments to drain their eyes and relieve the pressure on their retinas.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Fairfield live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call us at 203-955-1915 to schedule a free in-home consultation.