Jan 30, 2018 by Lisa Carson RN, BSN
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause vision impairment and blindness, and seniors have the highest risk for developing it. Seniors over the age of 60 should get their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist at least once a year. If you have a senior loved one living in the Lubbock, TX area who has symptoms of glaucoma it’s important that they get an eye screening quickly. Even if your loved one has no symptoms they should still get regular eye checkups at least once a year. And since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month now is the perfect time for a checkup. Here are some of the risk factors and symptoms of glaucoma among seniors.
While there are many different types of glaucoma, the most common one is open-angle glaucoma. Since it does not show any signs or symptoms except for gradual loss, it’s imperative that older adults visit the ophthalmologist yearly so that any vision changes can be monitored.
Another type of glaucoma, narrow-angle glaucoma, is considered a medical emergency. If a senior experiences symptoms such as severe eye pain, eye redness, nausea, vomiting, sudden blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights, they should visit their doctor immediately. Non medical home care services can help seniors who are noticing the symptoms of glaucoma get to the doctor.
Most of the time, glaucoma occurs when the fluid inside of the eye does not drain properly. When the fluid builds up, the pressure inside of the eye does as well. This pressure hinders the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness in time. Glaucoma can also arise in an individual with normal eye pressure if there is poor blood flow to the nerve or the optic nerve is fragile.
There are a number of different ways a doctor may treat glaucoma. The most common glaucoma treatment is eye drops. Eye drops work by reducing the formation of eye fluid or increasing its outflow. Redness, allergies, irritation, and stinging are all side effects of glaucoma eye drops so seniors should inform a doctor of any other medications they are allergic to. A doctor may prescribe an oral medication if eye drops do not help. Seniors often have trouble applying eye drops. Non medical home care providers can help your senior loved one with various personal care tasks, light housekeeping, meal preparation and medication reminders.
Laser surgery may also be an option for glaucoma and increase the flow of eye fluid for older adults with open-angle glaucoma. For seniors with angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery may be effective in stopping fluid blockage. Cyclophotocoagulation, trabeculoplasty, and iridotomy are all examples of laser surgeries that may be performed to treat glaucoma.
Several lifestyle and non medical home care remedies can improve glaucoma and eye health as well. A healthy diet full of dark, leafy green vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, frequent exercise, and sleeping with an elevated head are all recommended.
High pressure within the eye is the greatest risk factor for glaucoma. However, other risk factors include old age, thin corneas, steroid use, previous eye injuries, a family history of glaucoma, a history of shock or anemia, and nearsightedness.
While glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled if it is diagnosed and treated early. Older adults in Lubbock who make yearly visits to the ophthalmologist a priority can reduce their risk of blindness and enjoy healthy eyes and a higher quality of life throughout their golden years.
Seniors in Lubbock, TX who live alone could benefit from non medical home care. Contact us today to speak with a senior care specialist about the services that a Comfort Keepers caregiver can provide for your senior loved one.