With the elderly, there is a fine line between the normal deterioration of vision and eye problems of a more serious nature. Knowing and understanding which eye conditions older individuals are at risk of developing will help to reduce their chances of getting them. Here are five common eye problems in the elderly your senior should watch out for:
Glaucoma: Abrupt and severe pain in your eyes and seeing halos can be signs of glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by elevated levels of fluid pressure in the eyes, which can potentially damage the fragile fibers of the optic nerve. This damage is irreversible and can even lead to blindness.
Macular Degeneration: Macular degeneration, otherwise known as age-related macular degeneration, is the main cause of blindness in the elderly. Dry and wet are the two types of AMD that affect seniors. Dry AMD affects almost 90-percent of older people, and it occurs when the macula blood vessels thin over time. Wet AMD is when irregular blood vessel growths drain fluid and blood in the eyes, which in turn will cause loss of vision and even blindness.
Dry Eyes: This eye condition happens when tear glands can't make enough quality tears. Dry eyes is a very uncomfortable condition that causes burning, redness and itching. In extreme cases, loss of vision can occur. A humidifier put in the home or special eye drops could stimulate real tears. In more serious cases of dry eyes, prescription drops or surgery may be necessary.
Cataracts: Cataracts cause clouding in a person's eye lens. This occurs when there is a breakdown of crucial proteins that's main purpose are to help keep their lens clear. Cataracts are often found in people over 45. This is often the age when the lenses begin to have trouble changing shape to focus vision for far-sighted and close objects.
Blurred Vision: Problems seeing in dim light conditions and declined color intensity are symptoms the elderly need to watch out for. Surgery is the only way to cure blurred vision, but it's only suggested when cataracts impair a person’s ability to do every day activities or if there is a lot of pain.
These are the most common and damaging eye problems that affect the elderly. Make sure your elderly loved one visits their eye care professional on a regular basis, and notify their doctor if they experience any vision changes. Taking these preventive measures could save your senior's eyesight.