Many of us might take our sense of sight for granted, especially if we have not had to live without it during our lives. However, it is essential to many things that we do and how we carry out our daily activities.
Changes to our physical senses and cognitive abilities are expected as we grow older. It is common to need spectacles or vision aids in old age but aside from that, there are other forms of vision loss to consider. While some are unavoidable, others are not, and being aware of the signs and prevention methods can allow for earlier intervention and treatment.
The three most common causes are cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma. Here is more information about the different conditions and how to avoid them.
Cataracts, simply put, are when the lenses of your eyes become cloudy. This happens when the fibers and proteins in the eye start to break down due to either old age or some form of eye injury. It causes the lenses in your eyes to slowly become less transparent, thicker, and less flexible. As this condition progresses, the clouding will become opaquer, affecting your sense of sight.
Cataracts will generally develop in both eyes, but not necessarily at the same rate of progression or at the same time. Most of the times cataracts will develop slowly and might not even affect your vision in the early stages. Symptoms for this condition will depend on the progression of the condition but the most common ones include:
- Blurred, dim, or clouded vision
- Yellowing or fading of colors
- Frequent changes in contact lens or spectacle prescriptions
- Increasing difficulty with vision at night
Left untreated, cataracts can severely affect your vision. However, the good news is that cataract surgery is a relatively minor surgery and has a high probability of success for most people.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the most common cause of vision loss in adults above 50 years of age. It occurs when a part of the eye called the macula is damaged. With AMD, the condition will mainly affect the vision in the center of your eye. This means that your side, or peripheral visions, may be completely unaffected. One such example would be being able to see the numbers on an analog clock but not being able to see the hands.
Unfortunately, for AMD there are no typical warning signs that would trigger the need for a doctor’s appointment. One of the ways that you can use to track changes in your vision is to use an Amsler Grid in your day-to-day life to track blurred or affected sight.
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve located in the back of the eye is damaged. Similar to AMD, there are no obvious warning signs. One way to detect glaucoma is by measuring your eye pressure, as the condition can cause an increase. This makes annual eye examinations extremely crucial as there is no cure for glaucoma, only treatments to manage it if it is diagnosed early.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from vision loss and require more assistance with your day-to-day activities, it might be time to consider assisted living options. Here at Discovery Commons At Bradenton, you have access to reliable 24-hour nursing care for support whenever you need it. Contact us today for more information about our services and how they can benefit you.