As seniors age, loss of vision is often expected and creates a challenge for older adults to maintain their previous quality of life. Combined with weak joints, fragile bones, and impaired depth perception, the possibility of a life changing fall increases. Even with corrective lenses there are some vision problems that are common to seniors and will require early medical attention. For an older adult that is experiencing many falls an eye exam may detect early warning signs of eye disease. Here are three common vision related eye diseases that affect seniors most often:
- Cataracts cloud the eye lens, distorting and muddying the light coming into the eye. This causes vision that is poor and blurry. Cataracts are caused by clumps of protein forming in the lens and over time will cause a yellow or brown mass over the normally clear lens. Early signs of cataracts are blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, double vision and difficulty distinguishing colors.
- Glaucoma can be caused by a number of factors. Damage to optic nerve fibers cause blind spots to develop in the field of vision. Sometimes the vision loss is not noticed until most of the optic nerve damage has occurred. Often glaucoma is caused by high eye pressure, but not always. Some early signs are changes in the color of the iris, seeing spots, watery eyes and difficulty focusing on distant objects.
- Diabetic Retinopathy is a secondary condition of persons with diabetes. Blood vessels in the retina become weak resulting in vision that is blotchy and distorted. If the blood sugar is not controlled in persons with diabetes, the chances of developing this eye disease increases. Warning signs include spots or strings floating across the eye, blurred vision, impaired color vision and even loss of vision.
These three common vision problems that cause seniors to fall due to impaired vision are frequently diagnosed in adults over sixty. Early detection and treatment are the key to preventing further loss of functionality. Contact us, Caring Senior Service for more information on how we can help your senior adult to live longer and better.