If your parent has received a recent diagnosis of glaucoma, they may fear eventual loss of vision or may be already experiencing its effects. Glaucoma can, without appropriate early diagnosis and treatment, cause peripheral loss of vision and eventual blindness. Fortunately, with current medications, this devastating result can often be avoided.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that are often caused by a build-up of fluid in the eye which ultimately damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma rarely offers any signs or symptoms and often goes undetected until a comprehensive eye exam reveals its presence. For this reason, it is important that your parent receive yearly eye exams. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. More than 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from this disease.
Potential risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking and the use of corticosteroids. Help your parent maintain the correct blood pressure and blood sugar levels by helping them incorporate a healthy diet and exercise program into their daily routine.
The current treatment for glaucoma is the use of medicated eye drops. They are designed to either decrease the amount of fluid in the eye or improve the flow. Some of the eye drops used have potentially serious side effects, so make sure to discuss any concerns with your parent’s primary health care provider. Bring a list of all the other medications your parent may be taking in order to ensure that there are no possible drug interactions. In some cases, surgery is recommended. Clinical trials are often available. These can provide treatments that can often take years for approval from the FDA. There are, of course, risks involved.
In order to increase the chances for a best possible outcome, help your parent incorporate eye-healthy foods into their diet and include aerobic exercise in their activities. If their joints are aching, they may consider water aerobics which takes the pressure off of the joints and can afford a pain-free way to get their exercise in as well as an enjoyable activity to look forward to. Carotenoids have been found to be beneficial to the health of the eyes. The two found in eye tissue includes zeaxanthin and lutein. These can be found in peas, squash, spinach, melon, broccoli, eggs, peppers, kiwi and grapes. In addition, make sure that your parent has access to and wears high-quality sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection when outside. If they smoke, it’s time to stop.
Elderly Care Provider
If your loved one requires assistance with the everyday activities of living due to vision loss or other chronic conditions, consider obtaining the services of an elderly care provider. These professionals can not only assist with daily tasks, but also run errands such as grocery shopping, provide transportation and prepare eye-healthy meals. They can also accompany your parent on daily walks, providing them the incentive they need to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Ephrata, PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author