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Glaucoma: What Seniors Should Know

Jan 4, 2018 by Comfort Keepers Blogging Team

What Seniors Need to Know About Glaucoma

 

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. With that said, it’s important that you know what this disease is and how it can be prevented. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss. It is also the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, and up to 40 percent of a person's vision can be lost without them even noticing. However, with early treatment, your eyes can be protected against serious vision loss.

 

Glaucoma and Seniors

While glaucoma can strike anyone at any time, the risk is especially higher in people over the age of 60, because the disease is strongly associated with tolerance to pressure on the optic nerve. Seniors typically have lower tolerance due to the physiological factors of aging.

 

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors associated with contracting glaucoma; one of them is age as mentioned above. When an elderly person has a family history of glaucoma, this can make it even more likely that the senior will also develop the disease. In addition, those who have pronounced near-sightedness or have diabetes are also more prone to developing glaucoma.

 

Early Detection is Key

Knowing these risk factors should encourage seniors to have regular, full eye-exams once a year from age 55 on. However, if you have a family history of glaucoma, you should begin annual exams at the age of 50. Only a full vision checkup, including tonometry, visual field exam, visual acuity test, and a dilated eye exam can determine if you have any of type of glaucoma.

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids May Help

Although the research is still fairly limited, researchers have found that increased omega 3 fatty acids may help decrease the chances of increased ocular pressure. Ensure that you are incorporating plenty of flaxseeds, rapeseeds, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables into your diet for a healthy portion of omega 3.

 

Home Safety is Important

If a senior were to lose a substantial amount of their vision, their home safety may be in jeopardy. Ensuring a safe home environment is essential to avoid accidents and injuries resulting from low vision perception.

 

Experienced in-home caregivers can be a big help in the prevention of vision loss for seniors, because their training has made them aware of the signs that might indicate a vision problem.

Contact the expert caregivers at Comfort Keepers #374. Our trained and carefully screened caregivers provide assisted living for those who need support while living in their own home. We serve Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Marysville, Yuba City, Wheatland, Live Oak, Gridley, and Colusa, and surrounding cities in California.

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