Jan 22, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in seniors and accounts for over 75 percent of American elders who are legally blind. This sight-stealing eye disease impacts millions of seniors in the United States each year and these numbers are expected to grow by nearly 60 percent by 2030, according to the National Eye Institute.
January is National Glaucoma Month. During January, seniors and their families are encouraged to familiarize themselves with glaucoma risks and preventative measures while spreading the word about this terrible, yet highly manageable, disease.
Glaucoma is painless. For this reason, many seniors have glaucoma and do not even realize it until serious damage has already been done, and the damage from glaucoma is not reversible. On the other hand, if glaucoma is identified early, there are many ways doctors can slow or even stop the disease from causing further loss of sight. The good news is that early identification is as simple as having an annual eye exam, and Comfort Keepers eldercare services can help. Many seniors put off or miss their annual eye exams because they have difficulty driving or getting to and from appointments. Others have a hard time moving safely around the home after having their pupils dilated. With Comfort Keepers eldercare services, these situations are easily remedied.
Seniors with higher risks of glaucoma should make sure they pay extra attention to the symptoms of this disease. This National Glaucoma Awareness Month, take the time to familiarize yourself with both.
Risk factors for glaucoma include family history, steroid use, nearsightedness, thin corneas, previous eye injuries, anemia, and being African American. Symptoms include:
If your senior loved one is diagnosed with glaucoma, there are many treatments that can help preserve eyesight. There is also a plethora of in-home services available to help seniors remain safe and independence despite the loss of vision.
For more information about glaucoma, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, or the many ways Comfort Keepers in-home eldercare services can help your senior loved one remain safe and independent, contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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