Dec 23, 2021

Are Glasses Enough for Seniors?

Senior resting his head on his hands

Our bodies are constantly changing, and fluctuations in vision along with other conditions of the eyes can occur as we age. Some of these issues are harmless, while others are more serious.

A variety of vision issues could impact older adults. In fact, an estimated 5.59 million Canadians have an eye disease that could cause sight loss, according to the CNIB Foundation.

Regular eye exams are a good way to avoid eye complications and catch vision problems early. Glasses are the most common way to correct vision issues. But there are other perception problems that are more complex and potentially, particularly if these issues come on suddenly.

Learn about these 10 warning symptoms.

5 Signs Older Adults Have Vision Problems

  1. Sudden Onset of Spots or Floaters in the Field of Vision
    Watch for spots that look resembling thread-like strands or squiggly lines. Generally, “floaters” are benign and a part of the aging process. But a sudden onset of spots and floaters can also be caused by a serious, sight-threatening tear or detachment of the retina. Suddenly seeing a shower of spots and floaters, indicates a need to visit an optician immediately.
  2. The Sensation of a Dark Curtain Across Field of Vision
    This could be caused by a retinal detachment, which occurs when the retina separates from the underlying layer of nourishing blood vessels. If the retina is not attached within hours, vision loss can be permanent.
  3. Narrowing Field of View
    A reduction in the ability to see objects off to the sides could be a sign of glaucoma. Without intervention, peripheral vision loss could worsen and lead to tunnel vision or blindness.
  4. Double Vision, Double Images or “Ghost Images”
    Double vision can be caused by many eye conditions. In some cases, double vision can also signal an underlying health emergency such as a stroke. A sudden onset of double vision indicates a need to see an optician immediately.
  5. Sudden Blind Spot in One Eye
    Individuals over age 60 are at increased risk of developing a macular hole in the retina. These issues could cause permanent loss of vision so it’s important to see an optician if you or a loved one notices a gray area or blind spot when viewing objects with one eye.

Regular preventative appointments are important as individuals age. Check with an optician to find out how often you should be seeing him or her.

Learn more about sensory loss and how you and aging adults can save your senses. Those who are experiencing vision problems should not delay a trip to the doctor.  Follow up and do what medical professionals recommend, the experts note. Advances in technology are making treatments for many conditions more successful than ever.

For more research and information on common vision disorders such as Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma, visit BrightFocus.org.

To learn what it’s like to experience vision loss, check out the Cooking with Cataracts vision loss simulator. If you or a senior loved one is struggling with vision problems that are interfering with daily life at home, contact your local Home Instead® office to learn how a CAREGiver could how a CAREGiver could help with activities of daily living around the home, medication management and personal care.

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