Before your elderly loved one realizes there is something wrong, they could lose about ½ or more of their vision. Glaucoma often doesn’t present with any symptoms until permanent loss accumulates slowly. Millions of United States citizens have this condition and about ½ of them don’t even know they have it. There is not a cure for glaucoma, but treatments are possible to help slow the progression of this condition. If your elderly loved one has a higher risk of getting this condition, it is important to detect it early on to help stop it from progressing too quickly.
The Causes of Glaucoma
The eyes are producing certain types of fluid constantly. This fluid helps send nutrients to the eyes and body. Glaucoma happens when the tunnels for draining the nutrients get narrowed or even blocked. When fluid can’t get out of the eye, more and more pressure is building up. Over time, the pressure that is built up will start damaging the optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss that is permanent.
The Feeling of Having Glaucoma
Your elderly loved one might not feel that they have this condition. Most of the time, there aren’t signs that help someone to realize they have glaucoma until some permanent damage is already done. However, your elderly loved one might start to notice they have blurry or distorted vision. They might have nausea or pain in their eye. They may also lose their vision suddenly. If this happens, they need to get immediate emergency medical attention.
The Glaucoma Risk
It is important to know that this is a chronic condition. Anyone who has glaucoma will need management for the rest of their life. They might need medications or surgery. Both of these things can help to slow the progression of this disease. The quicker your elderly loved one gets treatment, the less vision damage they will have at the moment.
Those who are nearsighted, diabetic, have family members who have glaucoma, and who are 60 or older have a higher risk of glaucoma. Those who have a Japanese ancestry or who are African American have a higher risk of getting this condition, as well. If your elderly loved one falls into any of these categories, every other year they should get a dilated eye exam once they are 40 years of age. However, anyone who is diabetic should get a dilated eye exam every year after they reach 40 years of age.
The Glaucoma Testing
There are numerous tests that can check for and diagnose this condition. The main tests for diagnosing this condition are gonioscopy, perimetry, and pachymetry. For the most part, your elderly loved one should not experience pain with these tests.
The Glaucoma Treatments
Many glaucoma patients can be prescribed medication to help slow the progression of this condition. Eye drops are often prescribed for these patients. However, if your elderly loved one’s condition is more severe, their doctor might need to do procedures to drain their eye. Surgery is the last option for those who can’t be helped with the drainage procedure.
It is important that your elderly loved one know their risk of getting glaucoma. If you or their elderly care providers suspect they have glaucoma, be sure to get them checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Villanova, PA please contact the caring staff at Correct Choice Home Care today at (267) 323-1700.