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Causes of Vision Loss in Seniors

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Vision loss remains a major medical issue for seniors. Statistics indicate approximately one-third of older adults develop some form of a serious visual disease by the time they reach 65 years of age. There are several conditions that contribute to visual impairment. However, the disorders may be preventable.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration remains a leading cause of visual impairment in adults over the age of 65. Along with the natural aging process, risk factors include genetics and unhealthy lifestyle habits. The disorder is typically diagnosed as being either nonexudative or exudative. Nonexudative is the more common form of the disease, which is further categorized as drusen, or geographic atrophy. 

The drusen form of nonexudative macular degeneration occurs when yellowish-white extracellular deposits develop on the macula. Geographic atrophy involves the development of oval or round atrophied areas on the retina, retinal epithelium, and the underlying choroid. In time, the patches may increase in size or join to create larger affected areas. 

The exudative form of macular degeneration involves the growth of fragile blood vessels on the choroid. The blood vessels often rupture, which causes blood flow in the macula. All of the forms cause blurred vision or other forms of visual distortion. 

Prevention involves eating foods rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. In general, seniors who follow healthy diets are less likely to develop macular degeneration. Older adults must also stop smoking and get more exercise.

 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Oshkosh, WI, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma may be diagnosed as being open-angle or closed angle glaucoma. The problem lies in the inability for fluid within the eye to drain normally. As such, the fluid accumulates and puts pressure on the optic nerve, which causes irreversible damage. 

The risk factors that may lead to glaucoma development include genetics, the aging process, diabetes, and hypertension. Seniors with diabetes or hypertension must adhere to the medication regimen prescribed by their healthcare provider to prevent vascular damage. Living a healthy lifestyle often prevents or reverses diabetes and hypertension.

Consider hiring a caregiver to help your loved one overcome hypertension and lead a healthy life. Oshkosh elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Cataracts 

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in older adults in the United States. The likelihood of developing cataracts increases dramatically over the age of 75. The development of the opacities occurs slowly over time. However, for some, the disorder progresses more quickly. Seniors affected by the disorder experience blurred vision or intense glaring. Risk factors for cataracts include the normal aging process, diabetes, eye injuries, genetics, hypertension, obesity, sun exposure, and steroid use. Older adults can reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts by eliminating the risk factors they have control over.

Diabetic Retinopathy

\Diabetic retinopathy involves hemorrhaging of the blood vessels within or near the retina, which distorts vision. Vision loss occurs secondary to the edema and excess fluid in the eye, which puts pressure on the retina. Blood glucose levels must stay within normal limits to reduce the chance of developing the disorder. Leading a healthy lifestyle may also prevent diabetes.

Vision impairment is just one of the many issues that prevents older adults from living independently. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To hire a friendly caregiver for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance today at (920) 710-2273.