Jan 25, 2018 by Jorge Preciado
Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that causes irreversible damage to the eye’s optic nerve. The condition often appears later in life and is the leading cause of permanent blindness in senior Americans. To promote National Glaucoma Awareness Month this January, in home care for elderly has prepared this info sheet featuring the most common risk factors, causes, and symptoms of glaucoma, as well as available treatment options.
Unregulated, high pressure in the eyes is the greatest cause for concern and the most common risk factor. Other significant risk factors include glaucoma history in the family, aging, thin corneas (eye’s outer layer), having sustained eye injuries in the past, steroid use, anemia, and nearsightedness.
Out of several distinctive types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma is the type most people develop. Unfortunately, this particular type shows no obvious symptoms until irreversible damage has been made. To prevent this, in home care for elderly suggests that your loved one closely monitors any vision changes and schedules regular eye examination every year.
Narrow-angle glaucoma usually appears suddenly and requires immediate treatment. Should your senior mom or dad experience blurred vision, nausea, eye redness or severe eye pain, make sure they call their doctor at once.
In most cases, glaucoma develops when the eye fluids build up and elevate intraocular pressure. This pressure can gradually damage the optic nerve, causing loss of vision and blindness. People with optimal eye pressure can develop glaucoma too. Poor circulation inside the eye or pre-existing damage to the optic nerve can trigger the onset of glaucoma.
An ophthalmologist will recommend treatment depending on the type and stage of the condition. The use of eye drops is most commonly advised as they help regulate the outflow of intraocular fluids, leveling eye pressure. The downside of this treatment is that it may trigger allergic reactions and cause side effects.
If your senior loved one notices stinging, irritation or eye redness, in home care for elderly suggest they contact their doctor immediately. Oral medication therapy is an option when eye drops prove ineffective.
Surgical procedures such as cyclophotocoagulation, trabeculoplasty, and iridotomy are examples of laser surgery that can be performed to treat advanced stages of open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
Your senior mom or dad can also try to improve their eye health with certain home remedies. To reduce intraocular pressure, in home care for elderly recommends adopting a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids and dark leafy greens, exercising, and sleeping with extra pillows to keep the head elevated.
Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but with early detection, it can be slowed down and controlled. By watching closely for the early signs and symptoms of glaucoma and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, your loved one can successfully reduce the risk of blindness and maintain good eye health.