Our parents, when they reach a problematic old age, are faced with several health problems. Among these problems are vision problems that negatively affect their overall quality of life. If we consider that many older people nowadays live alone, maintaining good eyesight is essential for carrying out their daily activities but also for their good mental health and the prevention of impaired cognitive function.
Decreased vision can create a massive problem for our parents because, in this way, they are deprived of the possibility of their independence and autonomy. And there we all must stand by their side, providing them with the right support.
The most common eye diseases in the elderly are age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Most of these conditions have no warning symptoms but can be detected early during a preventive eye examination. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to maintaining good eyesight. That is why the visits to our trusted and specialist ophthalmologist, such as Aris Konstantopoulos with his clinics Aris Vision Correction, can prevent severe and chronic damages to our parents’ vision.
Most Common Eye Diseases:
The macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years of age. What happens is that the macula, which is the part of the eye responsible for central, clear vision, is gradually destroyed. Fortunately, some treatments reduce the risk of vision loss in people with this condition.
A cataract is nothing more than the blurring of the crystalline lens. It is also associated with vision loss. Surgical removal of the opaque lens and its replacement with a plastic, transparent lens helps to restore visual acuity. This is the operation most often performed by ophthalmologists, with local anaesthesia and with a very high success rate.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes as it destroys the blood vessels of the retina. Early diagnosis, prompt treatment and frequent follow-up of diabetic patients significantly reduce the risk of vision loss.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the intraocular pressure destroys the optic nerve, causing initially loss of peripheral vision and total blindness in the final stage.
But how can we help older people maintain their eyesight?
The most important thing we can do is encourage and facilitate them as much as we can to visit their ophthalmologist regularly. Even when they do not complain about vision problems and symptoms, we must remind them that many of the diseases mentioned earlier do not give signs in the early stages and that their initial diagnosis and treatment prevent vision loss.
And how can we help older people who already lost part of their vision?
Lack of vision can lead older people to feel dependent and helpless, losing all of their potential for independence. But we must be there, offering them the help and care they need. Also, with the existence of modern therapies and visual rehabilitation of the elderly, these people can be helped and effectively return to their daily habits and activities with others’ help, enjoying their retirement. But in addition to finding the right programs, you can make some essential modifications to your parent’s living space, such as removing those objects that deter him from moving around the house, painting the doors and bannisters as well as the installation of support bars in the bathtub and shower.