As we age, it’s completely normal for the eyes to change. While things like having trouble adapting to changes in light and dark environments, reduced depth perception, and the reduced ability to see colours are completely normal, some symptoms could be the result of more serious diseases, like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and a myriad of eye diseases.
What’s more, vision problems have been found to double the risks of falls, triple the risk of depression, and quadruple the risk of hip fracture. All of these can have a severe impact on the difficulty of day-to-day activities, and increase their social dependence.
How do you detect problems early on?
While ensuring your loved one has regular eye exams can help detect the early warning signs of eye disease, there are also a number of symptoms you can watch out for, including:
- Double vision, double images, or ghost images
- A sudden flood of spots in your field of vision
- Sudden blurred or clouded vision
- Seeing flashes of light in one or both eyes
- Intense light sensitivity
- Blind spots in your field of vision
- Changes in the colour of the iris
If your senior experiences any of these symptoms, you should have them see a healthcare specialist immediately to assess if they’re at risk.
What if your loved one isn’t honest about their health?
Sometimes, whether because of embarrassment or denial, seniors can be reluctant to share symptoms with you. In that case, be on the look out for:
- Consistently bumping into objects
- Stepping cautiously
- Brushing against walls while walking
- Missing objects, either by over or under-reaching
- Difficulty locating personal objects, even in a familiar environment
- Discontinuing activities they previously did regularly, including reading, watching tv, or other hobbies they enjoyed
- Difficulty recognizing faces or objects
- Having difficulty getting food onto a fork
- Spilling foods off the plate while eating
While it’s understandable to expect a certain level of degradation in the vision of your loved one, it’s important to stay vigilant and ensure that they’re not experiencing the symptoms of something more serious.
Do you have a loved one who suffers from eye disease? What were some of the warning signs you encountered? Let us know in the comments.