Elderly Care: Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
Approximately three million Americans have it. The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, and there are rarely warning signs. Learn the signs and care needs for people with glaucoma during National Glaucoma Awareness Month. It’s not an eye disease your family or your elderly care provider wants to overlook or ignore.
Peripheral Vision Decreases
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve becomes damaged. The most common form, open-angle, occurs when the fluid pressure in the eye increases.
When vision loss begins, peripheral vision is often the first to diminish. It’s followed by central vision. As peripheral vision loss takes place, driving is unsafe. Your dad needs to stop driving immediately.
There Is No Cure
You cannot cure glaucoma. You can treat it with medications, eye drops, and surgical procedures when caught early. Treating it only reduces the risk of blindness. It doesn’t make glaucoma disappear. In fact, 10% of people undergoing treatment for glaucoma still lose their vision.
The Older You Are, the Higher the Risk
People who have a higher risk of developing glaucoma are 60 or older. If you’re African-American, that age drops to 40 or older. People with diabetes and people with a family history of glaucoma also have an increased risk.
If you’re at high risk for glaucoma, make sure you get a dilated eye exam every year. The sooner you catch the disease, the better the chances of slowing the progression.
There Are Several Types of Glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. Of all glaucoma cases, open-angle accounts for nine out of ten of them. It’s a slow-progressing disease that occurs when the drainage channels in the eye become partially clogged and slowly allow pressure to build.
Angle-closure glaucoma isn’t as common. It’s caused by a sudden blockage in a drainage channel. That causes the pressure of the eye to increase suddenly.
Normal-tension glaucoma is less common. It’s also a trickier form as the eye pressure doesn’t increase.
Eye pressure remains normal, yet the optic nerve still becomes damaged.
Traumatic glaucoma occurs after an eye injury. The damage to the optic nerve may not appear for years. Sports-related or blunt force trauma injuries are a leading reason for traumatic glaucoma.
What If Your Dad Has Glaucoma?
Does your dad live alone? If he has glaucoma, he may no longer be allowed to drive. He might require assistance getting to appointments and shopping for groceries and home goods. Elderly care aides are there to support him.
With an elderly care aide, the goal is to maintain as much independence as possible. Caregivers will not take over your dad’s daily to-do list. They’ll support him by helping with the things he struggles to do and backing away when he can complete things independently. Call an agency to make the arrangements.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Lincoln, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423