I recently had my annual eye exam at my optometrist’s office, where they always run a battery of tests to determine if my vision has changed, check the state of my cataracts, and detect early signs of glaucoma and other conditions that could affect my eyesight.
Fortunately for me, my vision has only a slight change in my right eye, and no change in the left. My cataracts are about the same, too, and my glaucoma test showed elevated pressure in my eyes, but nothing higher than previous tests. No action was required, thank goodness!
I share this with you because I am especially concerned about glaucoma, since an hereditary factor exists in my case. My father was diagnosed with glaucoma when he was in his mid-40’s, and he had prescription eye drops to help control the condition and slow vision loss for as long as possible. Unfortunately, glaucoma negatively impacted his eyesight for the remainder of his life, even with the prescription drops.
So, What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve in one or both eyes, and seniors over the age of 60 are at greatest risk of developing this troublesome eye condition. Current studies indicate a higher percentage of glaucoma cases in Florida, because we have a larger population of seniors who spend winters in Florida and reside here year-round.
There may be many forms of glaucoma, however the end result of this horrible affliction is the loss of sight. Some types of this disease render a gradual loss of vision, while one type can cause legal blindness very quickly. Regardless of the type of glaucoma someone has, the prognosis remains the same: vision loss.
What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
The University of Central Florida Health Center reports there may not be any outward symptoms to indicate seniors have glaucoma, which is why regular eye exams are so important.
“The tricky part about glaucoma is that it usually doesn’t have symptoms at first, which can make detection difficult. Signs of the disease worsening include loss of peripheral (side) vision. Some other symptoms of glaucoma include blurred or distorted vision, eye pain, loss of peripheral vision, and headaches,” according to UCF Health.
Does a Cure Exist for Glaucoma?
There is no cure for glaucoma, but if it’s detected early enough, there are therapeutics to help slow or stop the progression of vision loss.
UCF Health explains, “Early detection is the only way to prevent glaucoma from affecting vision. Any vision loss associated with glaucoma can’t be recovered. Glaucoma Research Foundation reported research from The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group that in the U.S., more than 120,000 are blind from the condition. Regular eye exams can make the difference between glaucoma detection and missing a diagnosis.”
How Can a Caregiver Help Someone with Glaucoma?
As a Certified Senior Advisor, I am experienced at matching compassionate caregivers to help seniors with glaucoma, macular degeneration or other types of visual impairment. Professional caregivers help glaucoma patients and the visually impaired who cannot see well enough to perform basic activities of daily living, like reading prescription bottles and taking medications, and applying prescribed eye drops to treat their condition.
If a Home Helpers® caregiver can help you or a special senior you love who has glaucoma or other visual impairments, we offer wellness calls healthy meal planning and preparation, personal care, companion care, respite care or 24-hour monitoring, and more. I would be happy to schedule a FREE Consultation at your convenience to discuss specific needs.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for the fifth consecutive year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
University of Central Florida Health Center