Check Out These Eye Health Tips for Elderly Persons
Save your grandparents eyes with these tips.
With the advancement in the medical field and healthcare facilities all over the world, life expectancy has increased. With that, the number of older people has also increased. The health condition of the elderly in a community is an indication of the social, political, and scientific advancement of the nation, in general.
Besides the age-related degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, vision problems should be in focus. Any ophthalmologist in Delhi or Chennai will ask you to look out for the symptoms related to the following issues.
Age-Related Vision Problems
Cataract: This happens to be the most common problem. Blurred vision, due to a cloudy film developing over the lens, is the reason. The condition may hasten or worsen if you have diabetes, eye infections, or surgery. Cataract surgery and lens implantation are regular solutions.
Dry Eyes: Aging lachrymal glands producing fewer tears and malfunction of eyelids cause dry eye condition. Computer usage, sugar consumption, menopause, allergies, dehydration, and smoking may aggravate the condition.
Presbyopia: This is another common problem where the thickening and inflexibility of the lenses causes blurred near vision. Usually, corrective glasses are enough to manage the problem.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment: Floaters in the form of black dots or tiny flashes of light indicate retinal displacement and other degenerative issues that warrant an immediate visit to the ophthalmologist.
Glaucoma: A progressive nerve damage due to intraocular pressure leads to a complete loss of vision. Hypertension and diabetes are two contributing factors to the problem.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Dry AMD, which is thinning of the macula and wet AMD, which is leaking blood vessels below the retina, are two types of AMD. Both lead to complete blindness.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Uncontrolled sugar levels lead to the formation of new blood vessels that leak fluid and blood, causing vision loss.
Personal Eye Care for the Elderly
Visual impairment can affect the lives of older people and their families negatively. It also impacts the economic and social relevance of the elderly. Some self-care and awareness steps will help combat age-related vision problems. The following tips from a renowned ophthalmologist in Delhi will help.
1. Routine eye check-ups: Having regular vision tests and visits to the ophthalmologist can help detect cataracts, AMD, and glaucoma at the onset of the disease. The treatment and containing the symptoms become more active.
2. Routine monitoring for glucose, cholesterol, and pressure: High cholesterol and blood pressure has a detrimental effect on eye pressure, which is one major cause of glaucoma. High blood glucose is a significant reason for diabetic retinopathy. Checking and maintaining the levels of these parameters are mandatory.
3. Prescription and protective glasses: If your ophthalmologist has advised glasses for near and distance vision correction, do not ignore the advice. Wearing anti-glare, sun-shades, or even a wide-brimmed hat are all beneficial part of eye-care.
4. Falls and injuries: Falls can be quite harmful to the elderly. The physical impact and following trauma may affect vision. Eye injuries are particularly challenging to treat at an advanced age.
5. Healthy lifestyle: Proper nutrition for healthy eyes is as beneficial for the elderly as for the children. Exercise for blood circulation and rest for reduced hypertension are all part of eye-care. Smoking impacts eye health adversely, so stop it immediately.
Role of Families and Society
Health care is a combined responsibility. The individual, the government, families, and society all need to come together to play their part. Here are some points to remember:
- Prevention is always better than cure
The treatment for cataracts and AMD are in place. Currently, cataract is an entirely treatable eye problem. But, AMD treatments tend to be expensive. Issues like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma can lead to irreparable eye damage if not diagnosed in time.
Heeding the self-care as mentioned above, tips are necessary to avoid any long-term damage. If the elderly are unaware, the families need to help them in proper eye health management.
- Join forces to improve access to treatment
In the elderly, along with eye problems, other health issues also crop up, which takes precedence. Also, they may be physically incapable of visiting an ophthalmologist. Age may affect the psyche, where they lose the desire to seek help about health. These challenges have to be compassionately handled by family and community.
- Attitude towards ageing needs to change
In the current global ‘culture of youth,’ the tradition of respect and reverence towards the wizened older generation is fading. With the increase in the proportion of the ageing population, this culture needs an immediate change. Adequate health awareness may induce the current youth to invest in age-related health care in later stages.
The right attitude towards eye problems can provide the proverbial stitch in time and save many damages.