Jan 30, 2018 by Comfort Keepers
It’s Glaucoma Awareness Month in Fort Myers, FL, and since seniors are at high risk for developing glaucoma it’s important that they are aware of the risk factors, causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in the United States. While it can affect anyone it is often something that seniors develop as they get older. Seniors that have glaucoma can rely on Comfort Keepers elderly care services to help them manage the disease.
Most of the time, glaucoma occurs when the fluid inside of the eye does not drain properly. When the fluid builds up, the pressure inside of the eye does as well. This pressure hinders the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness over time. Glaucoma can also arise in a person with normal eye pressure if there is poor blood flow to the nerve or the optic nerve is fragile.
A healthy diet can help slow or stop the development of glaucoma. Several lifestyle and elderly care remedies can improve glaucoma and eye health as well. A healthy diet full of dark, leafy green vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, frequent exercise, and sleeping with an elevated head are all recommended.
While there are 5 different types of glaucoma, the most common one is open-angle glaucoma. Since it does not show any signs or symptoms except for gradual loss, it’s imperative that older adults visit the ophthalmologist yearly so that any vision changes can be monitored.
There is another type of glaucoma called narrow-angle glaucoma, which is considered a medical emergency. If a senior experiences symptoms such as severe eye pain, eye redness, nausea, vomiting, sudden blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights, they should visit their doctor immediately. Seniors in Fort Myers, FL who are struggling with the symptoms of glaucoma or loss of vision can get reliable household help and care from elderly care providers.
High pressure within the eye is the greatest risk factor for glaucoma. However, other risk factors include old age, thin corneas, steroid use, previous eye injuries, a family history of glaucoma, a history of shock or anemia, and nearsightedness.
There are a number of different ways a doctor may treat glaucoma. The most common glaucoma treatment is eye drops. Eye drops work by reducing the formation of eye fluid or increasing its outflow. Redness, allergies, irritation, and stinging are all side effects of glaucoma eye drops so seniors should inform a doctor of any other medications they are allergic to. A doctor may prescribe an oral medication if eye drops do not help.
Laser surgery may also be an option for glaucoma and increase the flow of eye fluid for older adults with open-angle glaucoma. For seniors with angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery may be effective in stopping fluid blockage. Cyclophotocoagulation, trabeculoplasty, and iridotomy are all examples of laser surgeries that may be performed to treat glaucoma.
While glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled if it is diagnosed and treated early. Older adults who make yearly visits to the ophthalmologist a priority can reduce their risk of blindness and enjoy healthy eyes and a higher quality of life throughout their golden years.
If you have a senior loved one in Fort Myers, FL who is at risk for developing glaucoma contact us today to find out more about how elderly care services can help.