Caring for Aging Adults with Glaucoma

Glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve in the eye, is increasingly common among aging adults. Family caregivers who look after their aging relatives may not know enough about the disease to spot the symptoms or how to best manage it when a diagnosis is given. Learning to care for aging adults with glaucoma will help aging adults manage their symptoms and prevent vision loss.

Homecare Thousand Oaks CA - Caring for Aging Adults with Glaucoma

Homecare Thousand Oaks CA – Caring for Aging Adults with Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

The optic nerves in the eyes contain millions of nerves that send visual signals to the brain. When these tissues become damaged due to internal pressure in the eye, it is called glaucoma. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to poor vision and eventually blindness. This damage is done by fluid within the eye that doesn’t circulate or drain properly, causing pressure that affects the optic nerve.

Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?

There are several risk factors when it comes to glaucoma, and the top is that it is most common in people over the age of 60. Seniors with African-American heritage or Latin American heritage are most likely to develop glaucoma, but it can affect any adult. Seniors with a family history of glaucoma are especially at risk for the disease. Certain medical conditions can also elevate the chances of developing glaucoma, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma in Seniors?

Interestingly, there are few symptoms that can be detected in the early stages of glaucoma. Often, by the time the aging adult notices any symptoms, the disease is well in progress. An eye doctor can pick up on symptoms during a regular eye exam, however, making it critical for seniors to visit annually. Noticeable symptoms of glaucoma include tunnel vision, blurred vision, and headaches.

How is Glaucoma Treated in the Elderly?

While there is no cure for this eye disease, glaucoma can often be managed well enough to slow the progression and avoid vision loss. Doctors will focus on lowering the pressure in the eye via medicated eye drops. If the fluid within the eye builds up too much, seniors may have to get laser surgery done to relieve the pressure and drain the eye. Lifestyle change can also help, by adding a healthy diet and exercise to control blood pressure, weight and circulation.

How Can Family Caregivers and Homecare Providers Help?

Aging adults that depend on family caregivers and homecare providers for daily assistance need help in managing their glaucoma. It’s important for homecare providers to remind seniors when to administer their eye drops, and they can also influence seniors to adopt healthy habits. Regular doctor visits are important as well, and homecare providers can drive them to and from the clinics. Glaucoma is serious, and family caregivers and homecare providers should be vigilant in watching for it and treating it when diagnosed.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home Homecare Services in Thousand Oaks CA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hearts Home Care today. Proudly Serving the Los Angeles & Ventura County. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (805) 371-0033, (818) 593-0094, (310) 230-5601.