Is Your Elderly Loved One Developing Glaucoma?

Elder Care in Vaughan: Glaucoma And Your Senior

Elder Care in Vaughan: Glaucoma And Your Senior

Even the most vigilant family caregiver is not going to be able to detect the early warning signs of glaucoma in their elderly loved one.  That’s because glaucoma can be present in the eyes for many years before ever impairing the vision.  When vision problems are finally noticed, much of the damage has been done.  However, a simple test administered during a routine eye exam can detect the early warning signs of glaucoma and trigger an intensive treatment that can help elderly loved ones keep their sight.

For National Eye Exam Month, family caregivers should make it a priority to schedule an annual eye exam for their aging loved one to test for glaucoma.

More About Glaucoma

The eyes contain fluids that help regulate vision and eye health.  When those fluids build up, they create pressure, which starts to damage the optic nerve.  The nerve is critical in transmitting vision signals to the brain. As it becomes more damaged, the person’s vision diminishes.

Glaucoma is quite common in people over the age of 60 and it is especially prevalent in senior populations with African American or Mexican American heritage.  Other risk factors for glaucoma include high blood pressure, diabetes and frequent eye inflammations and infections. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The beginning stages of glaucoma are virtually impossible to detect without an eye exam.  Because people don’t notice any symptoms right away, the condition is often undiagnosed and undertreated.   When seniors notice that they’ve lost some of their side vision or perhaps some of their central vision, the glaucoma is already taking its toll on the optic nerves.

The reason that so many seniors struggle with glaucoma is that they’ve put off their annual eye exams and avoided early detection.  It’s unfortunate because the test for glaucoma is quite simple and part of a routine exam by an eye doctor.  A machine delivers a puff of air against the eyeball, and it then measures the amount of pressure. If the readings are above average, the eye doctor can begin treatment for glaucoma.

The good news is that when glaucoma is detected early enough, it can be well managed via eye drops and oral medications.  In some cases, surgery can also help relieve the symptoms and relieve some of the pressure in the eyes.  While there is no cure for glaucoma, effective management can mean that most elderly people with the condition will keep their eyesight.

Importance of Eye Exams

Family caregivers that are managing the health and wellness of their elderly loved ones will want to make sure they have scheduled an annual eye exam.  Glaucoma is not the only eye disease that benefits from early detection.  Other diseases like cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, and age-related macular degeneration are all capable of causing a lot of harm to the eyes and are closely associated with age.  Seniors will be able to enjoy years of clearer vision when they get to have an annual eye exam from a licensed professional.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Vaughan, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.



About Susan Di Michele

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