Did you know that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in older adults? Early diagnosis is key to saving your vision, but in 10% of cases, treatment isn't enough to prevent vision loss.
An estimated 3 million people have glaucoma in the U.S., but only 50% realize it. Risk factors include being 60 or older, having diabetes, and having severe nearsightedness. But, what is glaucoma?
Things to Know About Glaucoma
Glaucoma occurs when the pressure of fluid within the eye increases too much. The eye is always producing fluid, but usually, the older fluid drains out of the eye to maintain a proper level. If the fluid doesn't drain, it puts pressure on the optic nerve.
The optic nerve is made of dozens of fibers, and pressure on those fibers will lead to their death. When too many die, it creates blind spots. The more fibers that die, the higher the level of vision loss.
Glaucoma can affect both eyes, but it usually starts in one eye. Left untreated, permanent blindness is possible. The only way to detect it is by visiting an eye doctor each year for eye exams. During these visits, your dad needs to be honest with his doctor about any issues he's having.
What Are Your Dad's Treatment Options?
Eye exams are essential in diagnosing glaucoma in the early stages. A doctor will check five things. One of them involves using a puff of air to measure the pressure of the fluid within the eye. The doctor also looks at the optic nerve, the angle where the cornea and iris meet, and how thick the cornea is after applying drops that fully dilate the eyes.
If caught early, eye drops that help maintain healthy eye pressure are used. If they're not helping enough, eye surgery can help open the channel that allows the fluid in the eye to drain properly, which reduces the pressure on the optic nerve.
Elder Care Aides Help Older Adults With Glaucoma
If your dad has glaucoma, you need to make sure he has the support he needs at home and on appointment days. He may not be allowed to drive, especially if it is affecting his vision. He's going to need someone to help him as he walks up and down the stairs, gets in and out of the shower, and takes walks.
Vision loss can make shopping hard to manage. Your dad cannot read prices or nutrition labels. He needs support when he's shopping and running errands. He may need help getting prescription refills.
His vision may not be perfect, and that can make it hard to see what needs cleaning within the home. Elder care aides can clean for him. Learn more about the benefits of elder care as soon as you can to ensure your dad never has to struggle around the home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065