With the aging of the population, vision loss from eye disease is becoming a major public health concern. Two million adults ages 40 and over have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), 24.4 million have cataracts, 7.7 million have diabetic retinopathy (DR), 2.7 million have glaucoma, and 3 million have low vision, according to the National Eye Institute. These rates are expected to increase as the population of older adults grows. Many of these diseases and conditions have no warning signs, but they can be detected in their early stages during a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Early detection and treatment are key to saving your senior parent’s vision.
The following are age-related eye diseases that could lead to vision loss, blindness, and other health complications.
“AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among adults ages 50 and older,” according to the National Eye Institute. “It gradually destroys the macula, which is the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision. A variety of treatments are available to help reduce the risk of vision loss in people with this condition.”
“Cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that causes loss of vision,” according to the National Eye Institute. “Cataracts are very common in older people, and surgery is the only effective treatment. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.”
“DR is a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye,” according to the National Eye Institute. “Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care can reduce the risk of vision loss by 95 percent.”
“Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can cause fluid and pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve,” according to the National Eye Institute. “It first affects side, or peripheral, vision but can lead to total vision loss if left uncontrolled.”
“Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly or when tears evaporate too quickly,” according to the National Eye Institute. “Left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. Dry eye can be treated with artificial tears, prescription eye drops, gels, gel inserts and ointments, and punctal or tear duct plugs.”
Help your senior parent prevent vision loss by encouraging them to have regular comprehensive dilated eye exams, as many age-related eye diseases do not have early symptoms. However, these age-related eye diseases can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam. In addition to annual eye exams, many lifestyle factors can help your senior parent prevent vision loss and disease. Remind your senior parent to:
- Eat a balanced diet that includes dark, leafy greens and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke.
- Keep diabetes under control.
- Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors.
- Wear protective eyewear.
- Know their family’s eye health history and discuss it with their eye care professional.
If your senior parent is struggling with vision and is not able to complete daily tasks, or, if you’re aging loved one is not working toward healthy vision, call SYNERGY Homecare Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills. Our in-home caregivers are trained to provide compassionate, professional care to your senior parent. Our in-home caregivers can help schedule and drive your senior parent to a regularly scheduled eye exam, as well as ensure that your senior parent eats a nutritious meal and leads an independent, healthy lifestyle. Our in-home caregivers offer many convenient services, such as:
- Errands and transportation: Driving to the doctor’s office or an appointment, picking up prescriptions, going grocery shopping, etc.
- Meal assistance: Complete and nutritious meal planning, preparing, and cleanup.
- Light housekeeping: Assistance with laundry, ironing, changing linens, kitchen/bathroom cleaning, and organizing, etc.
- Companionship: Encouraging friendly and supportive conversation, active thinking (structuring pastimes, hobbies and games), light exercise, etc.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside
Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is the name you can trust in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar for personal home care. Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. Synergy HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. Synergy HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/corona/ca18/. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 951-280-9808 and [email protected]