Focusing on Vision in the Later Years
Age brings a multitude of health concerns, not the least of which is a decline in vision due to age-related eye disease. Vision changes start in mid-life, usually in your 40s. And whether that change brings with it a need for reading glasses or an increased difficulty in seeing certain colors or being able to adjust to glares in the light, it’s an expected part of the aging process. But it doesn’t have to get in the way of fully enjoying life. Even so, there are certain severe eye-related diseases that can become more concerning and even dangerous.
Age-related macular degeneration
Over time, AMD completely eliminates sharp, central vision, which is essential in being able to see clearly.
Cataracts begin to affect vision by clouding the lens of the eye. This cloudiness begins to obscure visual clarity, causing colors to appear faded and increasing glare.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a common result of diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy often causes blindness as tiny blood vessels in the retina are damaged by elevated levels of blood sugar. As fluids begin to leak into the retina, they obstruct blood flow to cause a severe loss of vision.
Glaucoma is not just one disease, but an entire group that causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision or blindness. Often, it affects peripheral vision or side vision and is related to high eye pressure.
Low vision complicates the performance of many daily tasks even with the assistance of glasses, contacts, medications and corrective surgery.
Dry eye is the result of an inability to produce tears or the production of tears that evaporate at an abnormally accelerated rate. Common symptoms of dry eye include redness, blurred vision, soreness, burning or itchiness, and grittiness. Certain functions such as reading or computer use can become increasingly difficult.
Picture Better Vision
Seniors should take protecting their vision seriously, especially those for whom diabetes is already part of the equation. In such cases, risk of developing eye disease can often be reduced by maintaining proper regulation of insulin and blood sugar and reducing blood pressure through proper diet and exercise or the use of medication.
Awareness is extremely important, so use Diabetic Eye Disease Month in November as a personal reminder to make an appointment with an eye care professional to have your visual health checked out.
Regular yearly appointments with an eye specialist should be made a priority to ensure that any areas of concern are addressed early enough to be treated. If blurry vision or floaters become an issue and last more than a few days or seem to affect only one eye, it’s advisable to see a specialist as soon as possible.
Don’t lose sight of the need to protect your health! Call the caring, knowledgeable team of senior care experts at Watermark of Gulf Breeze Assisted Living & Memory Care to learn more about our senior living community today!