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5 Common Causes of Vision Loss in the Elderly

Approximately 30 percent of people over age 65 experience some form of vision loss. The causes of impaired vision can vary, and it’s important for seniors to know what these causes are so they can do their best to prevent them and maintain healthy eyes. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Philadelphia, discusses 5 of the most common causes of vision loss in the elderly.

1. Diabetic Retinopathy

This eye disease is usually diagnosed during the beginning stages of diabetes. Though the condition can develop at any age, it is most common in the elderly. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels, which destroy the blood vessels in the retina. If left untreated, this disease can lead to blindness.

2. Glaucoma

High blood pressure left untreated for too long can damage a senior’s eyes and cause glaucoma. This eye disease causes intense eye pain and blurred vision, but the condition can be treated with medications if an optometrist detects it in its early stages. If a senior fails to get treatment, he or she may experience irreversible blindness.

3. Cataracts

If the lens of an eye becomes white and opaque, a cataract has developed. This eye condition is often treatable, but the required surgery is risky. Cataracts can cause detached retinas, infection, and bleeding.

4. Macular Degeneration

When the macula located at the back of the eye begins to deteriorate from aging, vision loss occurs. Age-related macular degeneration can be treated in some cases, but most seniors who have been diagnosed with the condition have to manage it for the rest of their lives. Some of the symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Shadows in the field of vision

  • Blurred, fuzzy vision

  • Inability to see in dim light

  • Difficulty reading

5. Poor Nutrition

Severe nutritional deficiencies can cause damage to a senior’s eyes, and these deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons. Many seniors live with conditions that affect their appetites and make it difficult to swallow, and dementia can also play an important factor because it may cause a senior to forget to eat.

For tips on helping your senior loved one prevent vision loss, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide transportation to and from medical appointments, prepare nutritious meals, and assist with a wide array of tasks around the house. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Philadelphia families trust. To learn more and to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 today to speak with one of our experienced Care Managers.