Elderly people are a blessing to every family. This maxim has been realized definitely by every government across the globe more than a family. As an impact of this realization elderly people are honoured with the status of senior citizens and offered senior citizen benefits.
Senior citizen benefits mainly cover healthcare, of course travel, pensions and retirement benefits are few others to mention.
Now, it is vivid why healthcare benefits are prime to elderly people as aging leads to all sorts of medical ailments. The biological system degenerates as you grow old – the law of nature. Among all other diseases and disorders in elders, age related eye problems occur to a greater extent and this has become very common.
Most commonly, one realizes that he or she is getting old through three parts of the body – eye, hair and skin. Age causes eye problems in the elderly such as poor eye sight, AMD, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye and glaucoma. Grey hair and wrinkled skins also remind you of your age but does not create any major ailments or discomforts due to ageing. But, eye is a vital organ irrespective of age and becomes high priority during old age which can never be negligible. Do you know, among other degenerative diseases, degenerative eye diseases are first in the queue in elderly people when compared to other organ degeneration. Eye is such an organ that degenerates fast making life miserable for the elderly.
Eye problems in the elderly from the medical perspective are:
AMD – Age related Macular Degeneration:
This disease affects a sharp and central vision and occurs due to the damage of macula which is a sensitive part at the back of the eye. It comprises of millions of light sensing cells with the help of which the retina sends electric signals to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain transforms these signals into visualized images. The macula degenerates due to age posing vision problems usually at the age of 50. The intensity of this age related eye disease varies from person to person whether early stage, intermittent stage or advanced stage. Any stage of this disease causes discomfort to the lifestyle of the elderly people hindering their independency. Elderly people affected by this disease have difficulty in reading, writing, identifying objects, colours, driving, even cooking etc., there are no prominent symptoms other than the difficulties discussed. However, one should visit your ophthalmologist who confirms this disease through a series of medical examinations. Though termed as age related eye problems, other causes include smoking, genetic disorders, life style changes, race dependency, high blood pressure, loss of exercise and poor food habits.
Risk free simple treatments are practiced to put this disease under control through medication and medical aids such as glasses etc. Extensive medical research to cure this degenerative disease using stem cell therapy, is ongoing. Thanks to scientists!
Another age-related eye disease that occurs due to accumulation of protein in the retina causing blurred vision, adding brown colour to the vision. Other symptoms include poor sight during night, double vision and glared vision. Cataract is contagious from one eye to the other. Hence, better to diagnose at an early stage. The common treatment is surgery, usually laser surgery. Thanks to the medical advancement for the painless cure. Diabetes and lifestyle changes are the prime causes for this disease. An interesting fact about cataract is it is not only an old age related eye problem but all age groups are prone to this disease due to any previous medical history of surgeries, injuries, genetic disorders and ultraviolet exposures.
This age-related eye problem in elderly occurs due to the damage of the optic nerve leading to vision loss. Several tests help to diagnose this disease and of course early detection always helps to avoid complete vision loss which is irreversible.
Diabetic retinopathy is common among diabetes patients, especially in elderly people. Statistics prove that India crowns with increased growth of diabetic patients. This fact may be disturbing but government should promote measures to curb this dreading disorder among our citizens. Diabetes takes the worst form at old age leading to this degenerative eye disease in senior citizens showing no prominent symptoms. Hence, a periodic eye check with your diabetologist would help in curing retinopathy through laser surgeries.
Last but not least is the dry eye disease among aged people though all age group are susceptible to this disease wherein the eye produces either less or no tears causing dryness of the cornea. Main discomforts include pain and swelling of the eyes, red eye, unable to cry to express emotions etc.,
Hence, one should understand that periodic monitoring, early detection, due care and treatment offered with love and affection to elderly people may resolve such age related eye problems in elderly people. Attention to elders with proper home care facilities would make them happy and retire at old age with peace. Health is wealth, but caring the elderly people at old age is more than wealth one possesses in his or her lifetime. Always remember, old age embraces you too one day when your children shower the same love on you that you pour on your elders at home today.
Hope this article helped you to learn caring for the elderly with some interesting facts about age related eye problems in elderly people.