Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and is most often caused by a high-pressure buildup of fluid within the eye. It is that pressure that causes damage to the optic nerve. If not caught early enough and treated, your elderly parent can lose his peripheral (side) vision and eventually lose his sight altogether. Hiring home care assistance providers could help your parent manage their condition.
Knowing your parent’s risk factors can help you keep the risk of her developing glaucoma at bay.
Anyone over the age of 40 is at risk of developing glaucoma. Making sure your parent has a comprehensive eye screen during her regular eye appointments is important for the early detection of this disease. If making it to her appointments is a challenge, hiring someone who provides home care assistance to drive your parent to the appointment, might help.
The odds increase of developing glaucoma if your elderly loved one is Hispanic, African-American, or Asian.
If your parent has always struggled with poor eyesight, it might increase her risk of developing glaucoma. Nearsighted and farsighted individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma.
If your parent has ever had a serious eye injury, it might increase her risk of developing glaucoma. Trauma to the eye can cause damage and increase the pressure that leads to glaucoma. It can be immediate or long-term.
Certain health conditions.
There are specific health conditions that can lead to an increased risk of glaucoma. Sickle-cell Anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease all increase the risk. This is why it’s important to manage these diseases as the doctor prescribes, whether it’s taking the correct medications or making lifestyle choices that will help your parent live a healthier life. Your home care assistance provider can help with preparing food that will manage the disease better or even encouraging your parent to exercise as needed. Your parent can also get home care assistance for medication management if needed.
Use of corticosteroid medications.
Corticosteroid medications are commonly used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They can be used to treat conditions such as asthma, allergies, and hay fever. If your parent has multiple other risk factors, you might want to talk to her doctor about the dangers of long-term use of any of these types of medications.
If your elderly parent has thin corneas, it might put her at greater risk. The cornea is the eye’s clear, dome-shaped outer layer that covers the front of each eye. It helps with focus and vision. Thin corneas can lead to higher eye pressure which causes glaucoma.
If someone else in your parent’s family history has had glaucoma, her chances of getting it will increase.
Glaucoma can be treated with surgery but the sooner it’s caught, the less risk there is of it causing blindness. And since it can’t be seen with the naked eye and often doesn’t produce a lot of symptoms, having your parent see her ophthalmologist regularly is the best place to start to reduce her risk.