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How to Identify Vision Loss in Elderly Relatives

Watching the ones we love grow older isn’t always easy, especially when we start noticing declining health, subtle and not so subtle issues with everyday life, and encroaching illnesses. It can be very painful to watch them suffer, and while we can’t stop ailments altogether, we can help them address some problems before they get worse. Vision loss serves as a great example – we rely so much on our vision that we often take it for granted. When we start to lose it, however, our quality of life can potentially go downhill fast. Watch for these warning signs to help catch the signs of vision loss early.

Balance Issues

When our clarity of vision goes, not only do we lose good depth perception, but it also royally messes with our sense of balance. You might not think that balance and vision are related, but you’d be wrong! Improperly judging distances throws our body and equilibrium out of whack – a lot like missing that last step on the stairs. Watch for a tendency to bump into things, stumbles, missteps, and missing their intended target when setting things down, for example.

Clarity Issues

A slightly more obvious symptom of vision loss is eyesight getting fuzzy or hazy. If you notice your loved ones are holding things closer to their faces when trying to read or squinting a lot, this could be a good indication of vision loss. Taking longer to adjust to changes in light is another good indicator, but did you know that clarity issues can be one of the causes of dizziness? Blurred or unclear eyesight can cause momentary or prolonged waves of dizziness as our brains struggle to adapt to the sensory input. This can also tie in with the balance issues mentioned above!

Frustration and Anger

Humans are very proud creatures, and we hate to admit it when we’re having problems with things we used to be able to do just fine. Asking for help for things that used to be simple can feel like a loss of independence, which can bring about frustration and anger issues, and perhaps fear as well. Being unable to perform simple, easy tasks is also quite frustrating, obviously! If you’re noticing that your elderly relatives aren’t doing the things they loved as much, or they get frustrated with their daily routines or hobbies easily, vision loss just might be a factor.

If you’re noticing any of these issues, now might be a good time to gently suggest they see an eye doctor. Don’t be afraid to get creative if they balk at the idea – suggest a double appointment! Laying it out as part of their regular check up routine with their other doctors is also a good way to slip it into the conversation. However you do it, make sure they know you’re doing it because you care about them and certain issues can be dealt with quickly, helping them get back on the road to enjoying and living life.

While loss of vision and aging may seem to go hand in hand, you don’t have to let it drag your loved one’s quality of life down. Contact us today to ask about our exams or stop by to speak with a doctor.