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What Are Some of the Most Common Age-Related Eye Diseases?

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Aging causes seniors to experience many changes, including damage to the eyes. Some of these changes are a natural part of getting older, but others are more serious and may be preventable. Naples, FL, respite home care experts have put together a list of some of the most common age-related eye diseases, their warning signs, and ways your senior loved one can lower the risk of developing them. 

Macular Degeneration 

If your loved one begins having trouble reading, driving, or performing simple daily functions that require central vision, this eye disease may be the cause. Macular degeneration affects central vision in a dramatic way, though it does not lead to complete blindness. Treatment for macular degeneration includes laser surgery, low vision optical devices, and anti-angiogenic drugs.

To prevent macular degeneration, your loved one should:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Schedule routine eye exams
  • Stop smoking

Diabetic Retinopathy

This common eye disease develops due to complications from diabetes. The retina experiences abnormal changes, including leakiness or the growth of blood vessels where they should not be. The top warning signs associated with diabetic retinopathy include partial loss of vision, pain in one eye, blurred or distorted vision, and seeing shadows or dark objects that float across the field of vision. Laser surgery is often used to treat this disease. To prevent diabetic retinopathy, your loved one needs to control his or her blood pressure and blood sugar levels, stop smoking, exercise regularly, avoid hazardous activities, and schedule regular eye exams with a specialist.

Cataracts 

When protein in the eye clumps together, it forms a cloud that covers a small area of the eye’s lens. This cloudy mass is known as a cataract. Over time, cataracts can grow, making it more difficult to see. The top warning signs of this eye disease are double vision in one eye, cloudy or fuzzy vision, and seeing a glare when looking at lamps or the sun. Surgery is the only treatment available for cataracts, but your loved one can prevent this eye disease by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Scheduling regular eye exams
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Managing health complications like diabetes

Glaucoma

If your loved one begins to notice complications with side vision, it may be a sign of glaucoma. This disease damages the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in the loss of vision. Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness among seniors. Even though age and genetics are two natural causes of this disease, your loved one can reduce his or risk by avoiding steroid medications, wearing eye protection, seeking regular eye care, and taking prescribed eye drops regularly.

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits to prevent eye diseases and other complications, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can prepare healthy meals, assist with exercise, provide transportation to medical appointments, and help with a wide array of other important tasks. For more information on the in-home senior care Naples families trust and to request a free consultation, call (239) 449-4701 today.