One of the usual troubles of aging
Nearly every person experiences some degree of vision loss as we age. Yet serious vision loss is a significant issue influencing countless elderly Americans. As a matter of fact, according to the most recent Longitudinal Occurrence of Major Eye Diseases study, nearly 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have extreme visual impairment. Perhaps much more magnificent is that these same specialists predict that given the current growth in the maturing population that number is likely to increase by 2030.
“By 2030, there may be more than 14 million Americans over the age of 65 suffering extreme visual impairment.” – Protect Against Blindness, Study.
Vision loss results in impairment of the lifestyle of old grownups by numerous means, not the least of which is loss of the capacity to take pleasure in daily activities such as reading the newspaper or enjoying TV or films. Mobility and liberty are affected when seniors endure vision loss and can no more drive. And according to the Centres for Condition Control, an aesthetically impaired senior has increased threat for falls and fractures, and is more likely to require a hospital stay as well as lasting treatment than those with excellent vision. Visually impaired seniors have a higher threat for anxiety, and also are more probable to make mistakes in taking prescribed dosages of drug.
Factors for age relevant eye disease
According to the National Eye Institute, there are four major problems that account for age-related eye illness in the elderly. They are:
- Glaucoma– causes peripheral vision loss
- Macular deterioration– causes central vision loss
- Diabetic retinopathy– triggers “spotty” vision
- Cataracts– causes obscured or “cloudy” vision
A senior with extreme vision loss may have any type or several of these conditions. According to the institute, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary root cause of blindness among senior citizens.
Treatments for vision loss
For the senior citizen experiencing vision loss, it is necessary that he or she sees a medical professional right away to establish its source. Much of the reasons for severe vision loss in seniors are now treatable. Surgical treatments and eye declines are offered that can lower the stress in the eye triggered by glaucoma. Today, cataracts can commonly be totally turned around with surgical procedures, and there are brand-new injectable medicine therapies that have revealed exceptional results turning around the impacts of AMD.
For those with light to extreme vision loss, there are many assistive gadgets that can restore a significant quality of life. Such gadgets consist of:
- Magnifiers and “readers”
- Audio books and also other audio programs
- Software that make computers much easier to use for the visually impaired
In addition to the use of these assistive tools, the American Foundation for the Blind suggests that all senior citizens experiencing any kind of degree of vision loss should:
- Install lights for work in closets, under ovens and other dark areas
- Only read or work in a well-lit space
- Put furniture with enough clear paths
- Install showers as well as tub grab bars in washrooms
- Keep lawns as well as yards devoid of mess, and also paths quite possibly lit in the evening
Dealing With Vision Loss in Seniors
One of the common difficulties of aging
Just about everyone experiences some degree of vision loss as we age. But severe vision loss is a significant problem affecting millions of elderly Americans. In fact, according to the most recent Longitudinal Prevalence of Major Eye Diseases research, almost 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment. Perhaps more stunning is that these same experts predict that given the current growth in the aging population that number is likely to double by 2030.
“By 2030, there may be more than 14 million Americans over the age of 65 suffering severe visual impairment.” — Prevent Blindness, Study
Vision loss effects the quality of life of aging adults in many ways, not the least of which is loss of the ability to enjoy everyday activities such as reading the newspaper or watching TV or movies. Mobility and freedom are impacted when seniors suffering vision loss can no longer drive. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, a visually impaired senior is at increased risk for falls and fractures, and more likely to require hospitalization and long-term care than those with good vision. Visually impaired seniors are at greater risk for depression, and more likely to make errors in doses of medication.
Reasons for age related eye disease
According to the National Eye Institute, there are four major conditions that account for age-related eye diseases in the elderly. They are:
Glaucoma — leads to peripheral vision loss
Macular degeneration — leads to center vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy — causes “spotty” vision
Cataracts — causes blurred or “filmy” vision
A senior with severe vision loss may have any one or more of these conditions. According to the institute, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the number one cause of blindness among senior citizens.
Treatments for vision loss
For the elderly person experiencing vision loss, it is important that he or she sees a doctor immediately to determine its source. Many of the causes of severe vision loss in the elderly are now treatable. Surgical treatments and eye drops are available that can reduce the pressure in the eye caused by glaucoma. Today, cataracts can often be completely reversed with surgery, and there are new injectable drug therapies that have shown remarkable results in reversing the effects of AMD.
For those with mild to severe vision loss, there are many assistive devices that can restore a meaningful quality of life. Such devices include:
Magnifiers and “readers”
Books on tape and other audio programs
Software that make computers easier to use for the visually impaired
In addition to the use of these assistive devices, the American Foundation for the Blind recommends that all seniors experiencing any degree of vision loss:
Install task lights in cabinets, under stoves and other dark areas
Only read or work in a well-lighted room
Arrange furniture with clear pathways
Install shower and tub grab bars in bathrooms
Keep lawns and gardens free from clutter, and pathways very well lit at night