Glaucoma Awareness Month falls in January and is a month to bring attention to this common eye disease. Babies, children, teenagers and adults are all at risk, but glaucoma is more common in people 60 years or older.
Basic Facts About Glaucoma
More than 3 million Americans are believed to have glaucoma, but only 50% recognize it. Many are diagnosed only when they experience symptoms such as eye pain, vision loss and nausea.
The eye constantly produces aqueous humor fluid within the eye, and the older fluid is supposed to drain. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen, and the fluid increases so much that it puts pressure on the optic nerve. That causes portions of the nerve to die. This creates blind spots and can lead to permanent vision loss.
Detected early, medications reduce the pressure in the affected eye. Sometimes surgery needs to open the channel to allow the fluid to drain properly.
. Left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss that impacts your dad’s mobility.
What Happens When Vision Loss Occurs?
As more of the optic nerve dies, your dad’s vision continues to worsen. What started as blind spots keeps increasing to the point that he can no longer see. He can’t drive at this point, and needs in-home care aides to drive him around when you can’t.
It also impacts his mobility. He won’t be able to see objects on the floor and in his way. He risks hitting them, tripping and falling. Those falls can lead to severe injuries. You need to make sure his home is clear of obstacles, and that means keeping his home clean and organized. In-home care aides can do this.
He’s also going to have a hard time walking up and down the stairs, as he cannot see the transitions between steps. He needs a caregiver to ensure he can get from one level of his home to the other without falling on the stairs.
Your dad will find it difficult to get in and out of the shower if he has a tub/shower combination. A walk-in shower stall may be easier to manage, but he still needs protective measures to prevent him from slipping on wet tiles or flooring. It’s best to have a caregiver with him to help.
If he likes to walk outside, he’s going to need someone with him. He shouldn’t walk alone, because he may not see a dog running up to him, a curb he must step over, or a pothole that could twist his ankle.
In-home care is the ideal solution to your dad’s vision loss. He maintains his independence in his home, but he’s not alone and risking his safety as he tries to complete normal daily routines.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Litchfield Park, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819.
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