When it comes to our senses, vision is often the one we use the most. As we navigate our world, up to 80 percent of our impressions come from our sense of sight. With nearly 130 photoreceptors in the human retina, our eyes are complex and finely-tuned organs whose uses range from letting us admire a beautiful painting to helping us avoid getting hit by a bus when we cross the street. The eyes are called the windows to the soul — and sometimes those windows could do with a bit of polish.
Sight plays a large role in guiding us through our world, which makes addressing issues with low vision all the more important. Loss of vision is especially a concern for seniors. In fact, one in three seniors suffers from a sight-reducing condition by the time they’re 65. For Low Vision Awareness Month this February, take a moment to consider how decreasing vision may impact you or a loved one in your life.
What Causes Low Vision?
Some people need glasses from childhood; others end up picking up a prescription as they age. Many others will experience a reduction in sight due to disease or other medical conditions. The most common cause of low vision in seniors is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This condition results from deterioration in the macula: the part of the retina responsible for central vision. AMD’s main symptoms are blurred vision, distorted images, a blind spot in the center of your eye, and difficulty reading.
Another common culprit of sight loss is glaucoma. The first symptom of glaucoma is often the loss of peripheral vision, but sudden sight loss, halos around lights, nausea, and cloudy eyes are other red flags. Glaucoma can come on quickly, cause total blindness, and its effects are not reversible. This makes it especially important to be aware of the warning signs and contact an eye doctor if you believe you’re experiencing any symptoms.
Cataracts often cause sight loss in the elderly. Blurred sight, visual glare, and cloudiness in the eyes are all common signs of a cataract. Luckily, surgery can often correct cataracts.
Though many different conditions can impact vision, the effects are often dramatic. No matter the cause, it’s essential to identify and address a loss of sight as quickly as possible.
How Vision Loss Can Impact You
With all the ways we rely on our vision, it’s no surprise that any condition impacting your eyes will have a significant effect on your life. Some of the changes are small. It may become more challenging to read or watch television or participate in other visually-oriented activities. Reduced sight can also be a safety concern. Activities such as driving, walking, or even navigating around your own home can become fraught with danger when you can’t see the threats in your environment.
Low vision manifests itself in many different ways. However, the effects can be subtle. Studies have shown that low vision can limit daily activities and lead to depression and a lower quality of life. No matter what type of sight loss you may be suffering from, it’s crucial to talk to a doctor as quickly as possible if you notice any new reduction in sight. Yearly eye exams are also a necessary part of any health regimen.
Don’t Let Low Vision Slow You Down
It’s clear that untreated vision loss is a major health concern. It can impact your physical safety, but just as importantly, it can affect your happiness. If you or a loved one is experiencing vision loss, there are plenty of ways to stay safe and fulfilled before, during, and after medical treatment.
Modern technology has provided many workarounds for people with permanent eye concerns. From text to speech, audiobooks, and audio description in movies and theaters, there are many ways that you can keep enjoying the hobbies you love. Of course, adapting to changing visual ability involves many challenges. A home caregiver can help you keep living life to the fullest even with vision loss. They can take over everyday tasks that sight loss makes more complicated, such as meal preparation and chores. They can provide guidance on walks and take over driving duties to keep you on the go. Generations Home Care offers a continuum of care that allows you to get the assistance you need–as little or as much of it as necessary. Low vision doesn’t have to stand between you and the life you want to live, so don’t wait: see if a home caregiver can help you thrive.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.