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5 Tips to Prevent Glaucoma in the Senior Years

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Glaucoma can lead to the loss of eyesight in seniors and is caused by increasing pressure inside the eye that distorts vision. It is one of the many health conditions your loved one may be susceptible to.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Oakville families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, your elderly loved one can take a few steps to protect his or her eyesight and prevent glaucoma from developing or progressing. 

1. Wear Eye Protection 

Serious eye injuries often lead to glaucoma, which is why your loved one will need to protect his or her eyes each day. Encourage your loved one to wear safety glasses, especially when going to areas with heavy traffic, while playing sports, or doing any type of activity where his or her eyes can become injured. Your loved one should also wear hats to shield his or her eyes from the sun. By keeping UV rays away from your senior loved one’s eyes, you can help him or her prevent glaucoma. 

2. Get Plenty of Exercise 

Regular exercise can help seniors lower their eye pressure. Your loved one may have to avoid exercises that require being in inverted positions because that can increase his or her eye pressure. Moderate exercise routines are often effective for seniors. A simple walk or jog through the neighborhood at least three times a week can help your loved one lower his or her eye pressure and prevent glaucoma. 

3. Take Eye-Drop Medication 

Taking prescribed medication helps seniors prevent glaucoma from progressing. For the eye drops to be effective, your senior loved one will need to take them regularly, as directed by a doctor. Seniors with arthritis or hand tremors may face difficulty taking these drops, which is why a family caregiver should help with the process. Missing even one dosage can cause the eye drops to become ineffective. Eye drops can be prescribed to your senior loved one even if she does not have symptoms of glaucoma.

As a caregiver, you need to make sure your loved one takes his or her glaucoma eye drops on time. However, it may not be possible for you to be there for him or her at all times. Oakville respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. 

4. Maintain Normal Blood Pressure and Insulin Levels 

By maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, your senior loved one can prevent glaucoma. When insulin levels rise, blood pressure will also rise, causing his or her eye pressure to increase. Insulin resistance is linked to elevated eye pressure, one of the main causes of glaucoma. 

To prevent insulin resistance and high blood pressure, your senior loved one should avoid eating sugars and grains. The following foods should be eaten in small quantities or avoided altogether:

  • Cereal 
  • Bread
  • Potatoes 
  • Rice
  • Pasta 

5. Attend Regular Doctor Visits 

Scheduling comprehensive eye exams every two years after the age of 65 is a great way to prevent glaucoma. It is beneficial to schedule these exams every four years before your senior loved one turns 65. A comprehensive eye exam allows the doctor to detect glaucoma in its early stages and treat the disease before it becomes irreversible. If your senior loved one is at a high risk of developing glaucoma, he or she should have more frequent screenings. A doctor can suggest a screening schedule based on your senior loved one’s health and family history.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Oakville, ON, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If your senior loved one needs assistance with his or her daily activities, get in touch with one of our Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 and create a tailored senior care plan today.

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