When your older family member was diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor may have advised them to have their eyes checked more frequently than people without diabetes need to. There’s good reason for seniors with diabetes to be more diligent about eye exams. Diabetes can have some serious affects on vision, including vision loss. Having an understanding of the impact of diabetes on vision is an important part of helping your aging relative to manage the disease.
Below are some of the ways that diabetes can affect vision.
Diabetes can cause an older adult’s vision to become temporarily blurry. It doesn’t necessarily mean they need new glasses. Instead, it can be the result of a problem with blood sugar levels. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause the lens of the eye to swell, distorting vision. Getting blood sugar back to the target range can correct the problem, but it could take as long as three months for vision to return to normal.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels located at the back of the eye are damaged by high blood sugar. When the damage starts, there are usually no noticeable symptoms. Gradually, it causes vision problems. Left unchecked, it can lead to blindness.
People with diabetes tend to get cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, earlier in life than those without diabetes. Their cataracts also progress more quickly. Cataracts make it harder for light to pass through the lens, making it harder to see. The treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove the damaged lens and replace it with an artificial one.
Diabetes is a risk factor for the eye disease glaucoma. Glaucoma happens when pressure inside the eye builds up because the fluid inside the eye cannot drain the way it is supposed to. The excess pressure can damage nerves and blood vessels in the eye, which affects vision. People with glaucoma may feel pain in their eyes or have headaches. They might also experience blurry vision, watery eyes, and halos around lights. The progression of glaucoma can lead to vision loss.
If your older family member with diabetes has vision loss, elderly care can assist them to manage tasks that require sharp vision. For example, an elderly care provider can read to them, allowing them to keep up with their mail and the daily or weekly newspaper. Elderly care providers can also help the older adult to navigate safely when they are away from home, ensuring they do not trip over curbs or run into things.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Elderly Care Services in Essex County NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
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