3 Warning Signs That Your Elderly Parent Is Losing Their Vision

Posted on: 10 February 2015

Are you concerned that your parent's sight is diminishing? Many people think that vision loss or impairment is a natural part of aging, but that's actually not the case. With regular checkups with an ophthalmologist, vision loss can be prevented, or at least managed with prescription eyeglasses. It can sometimes be difficult to know for sure, though, whether your parent needs help. An elderly person may be afraid to admit their vision troubles because they don't want to lose their driving privileges. If your parent is losing his or her sight, it's important that you take action before they have an accident. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

They always wear sunglasses. Most people wear sunglasses every now and then. However, if you notice your parent wearing sunglasses all the time, that could a sign of a problem. They may have an increased sensitivity to light, which is a symptom of cataracts and glaucoma. With each of those conditions, light can cause a person to see "halos," which can cause headaches and nausea. Your parent may be wearing the sunglasses to reduce sunlight exposure and to slow down the symptoms.

They wear mismatched clothing. Look for things like mismatched socks or clothes that don't go together. If your parent is a sports fan, pay attention to whether he or she can distinguish between different team jerseys on television. A loss of color perception can be an early symptom of diabetic retinopathy, which is a condition of diabetes that affects the eyes. If your parent hasn't already been diagnosed as having diabetes, you may want to get them checked. If diabetes isn't the issue, they could have early stage glaucoma or cataracts.

They're reluctant to drive at night. Many people become less willing to drive at night as they get older. This can be because they don't trust their judgement behind the wheel or simply because they like to go to bed earlier. However, it can also be because they're having trouble seeing in the dark. Glaucoma and cataracts are a common cause. Another common cause is age-related macular degeneration, which leads to total vision loss if it isn't treated. The condition, also called AMD, can cause blurry spots in the line of sight. These spots can be manageable during the day but may become difficult to see with in the dark.

Talk to your parent about their vision troubles. If you see an ophthalmologist early and get treatment, your parent may be able to continue driving and enjoying the activities that they love.

For more information, contact California Eye Specialists Medical Group Inc. or a similar organization.