Low Vision Management for Elderly People

Elderly person with glasses
pic via religionnews.com

Vision is affected due to aging and age-related eye diseases like cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma. The prevalence of these diseases is higher in the elderly population. Many causes of impaired visual function are avoidable or curable. Hence, persons with vision impairments need extra care and understanding. If you are one of the “lucky” people with normal eyesight who barely has awareness of communicating or interacting with low vision people, here are some advices.

The visually impaired elderly population needs specialized ophthalmologic care including clinical assessment, counseling, and rehabilitation in order to attain improvement in quality of life and greater independence. How to manage the low vision of the elderly?

It’s based on their overall health status. Those who have age-related ophthalmic pathology often do very well with stand magnifiers and handheld magnifiers. These devices are often more portable and affordable and can be used in a variety of situations. Those who were avid readers may find a CCTV invaluable. CCTV has more clearer and comfortable image and you can perform sorts of tasks easily. Those with some complex health problems, and in particular age-related degeneration of the higher functions, will find low vision aid usage difficult.

Some elderly patients cannot use low vision aids, and their families need to be advised on practical, high contrast, color and size issues. And also they can look for the help from vision rehabilitation. Low vision rehabilitation teaches you how to use your remaining vision more effectively. Here is a magnifier choosing guide.

It’s important to remember that almost all elderly people, before the onset of visual impairment, will have been used to wearing distance and /or reading. If your family member or friend has vision loss, you should help them to identify the adjustments that they need to make to maximize their independence. Advices on the need for, and use of, spectacles need to be given carefully.