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At Home Healthcare & National Glaucoma Awareness Month in McKinney, TX

Jan 29, 2018 by Robert Smolen

National Glaucoma Awareness Month is the perfect time for seniors and their loved ones to learn more about the symptoms, risk factors, causes and treatment of glaucoma. There are many different factors that can raise a senior’s chances of getting glaucoma, including being over the age of 60 and having a family history of the disease. All seniors in McKinney, TX should be getting their eyes examined at least once a year.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

High pressure within the eye is the greatest risk factor for glaucoma. And other risk factors include old age, thin corneas, steroid use, previous eye injuries, a family history of glaucoma, a history of shock or anemia, and nearsightedness. Seniors over 60 have a particularly high risk of developing glaucoma.

Causes of Glaucoma

Most of the time, glaucoma occurs when the fluid inside of the eye does not drain properly. When the fluid builds up, the pressure inside of the eye does as well. This pressure hinders the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness in time. Glaucoma can also arise in an individual with normal eye pressure if there is poor blood flow to the nerve or the optic nerve is fragile.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

While there are several different types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma is the most common. Since this form of the disease does not show any signs or symptoms except for gradual loss, it’s imperative that older adults visit the ophthalmologist yearly so that any vision changes can be monitored. At home healthcare services can also be a great resource for seniors who are at risk of coming down with glaucoma.

 Causes of Glaucoma

Most of the time, glaucoma occurs when the fluid inside of the eye does not drain properly. When the fluid builds up, the pressure inside of the eye does as well. This pressure hinders the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness in time. Glaucoma can also arise in an individual with normal eye pressure if there is poor blood flow to the nerve or the optic nerve is fragile.

There is another type of glaucoma called narrow-angle glaucoma, which is considered a medical emergency. If a senior experiences symptoms such as severe eye pain, eye redness, nausea, vomiting, sudden blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights, they should visit their doctor immediately.

Glaucoma Treatments

There are a number of different ways a doctor may treat glaucoma. The most common glaucoma treatment is eye drops. Eye drops can be very difficult for seniors to apply by themselves, especially if they are having trouble seeing. At home healthcare workers can make sure that seniors get the eye drops they need. Eye drops work by reducing the formation of eye fluid or increasing its outflow. Redness, allergies, irritation, and stinging are all side effects of glaucoma eye drops so seniors should inform a doctor of any other medications they are allergic to. A doctor may prescribe an oral medication if eye drops do not help.

Laser surgery may also be an option for glaucoma and increase the flow of eye fluid for older adults with open-angle glaucoma. For seniors with angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery may be effective in stopping fluid blockage. Cyclophotocoagulation, trabeculoplasty, and iridotomy are all examples of laser surgeries that may be performed to treat glaucoma.

Several lifestyle and home remedies can improve glaucoma and eye health as well. A healthy diet full of dark, leafy green vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, frequent exercise, and sleeping with an elevated head are all recommended.

While glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled if it is diagnosed and treated early. Older adults in McKinney, TX who make annual visits to the ophthalmologist can reduce their risk of blindness and enjoy healthy eyes and a higher quality of life throughout their golden years.

If you have a senior loved one in the McKinney, TX area who has glaucoma or may be at risk for glaucoma, contact us today for more information about at home healthcare and how a Comfort Keepers caregiver can help your loved one stay healthy and safe at home.

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