Eye Care with Alzheimer’s Disease
When was the last time your loved one had an eye exam? Have you delayed taking them in for an appointment?
If you care for a senior, even if it is just to get them to and from appointments, you are aware of the difficulties you may face. As we age, we are neither as flexible or as fast as we once were. Getting in and out of cars becomes tiring, as does walking too far. When the patient has Alzheimer’s disease, there are often many more issues.
Several years ago when I last took Mom in for an eye exam it became clear. She could no longer read the letters even if she could see them. Besides that it was difficult for her to look where directed or keep one eye open or shut for any testing.
The doctor tried. He switched to pictures, hoping to judge fuzziness, but she was unable to respond to that either. She would try, hoping to please, answering yes each time.
Measurements may Help
The doctor was able to take measurements that could show what difference there might be in her eyes. Fortunately we had a prescription in place from a couple of years prior to compare to as well, so we got her some new glasses that we hope serve her well.
The problem is, we really don’t know. She seems to see well enough, though when watching TV, it’s hard to know how clear anything is. When I show her photos on my phone, again she is pleased and may comment, so I hope for the best.
Still, we have to try, at least occasionally. If it seems your own Alzheimer’s patient isn’t seeing well, whether for distance or for close up, try to have their eyes checked. The risk of falling or bumping into things increases if things get too blurry.
If you wear glasses, you will know that blurriness can make you feel off balance and dizzy too. Those sensations may cause a person to react differently than they normally would, perhaps in anxiety, anger or aggression. It’s another of those things you have to consider when you see unusual reactions. While I don’t think it’s common, is should be a consideration.
At some point, the Alzheimer’s patient may be beyond exams. The disease itself often causes various symptoms that may make a visit unnecessary. I urge you to discuss that with their physician, primary caregiver, and eye doctor if they already have one.
More on that will be coming soon.
The 36-Hour Day is probably considered the bible for Alzheimer’s disease. The book covers everything. It’s so helpful to have it around for a quick answer or explanation. I’ve reviewed the book. You can read the full review here on Jaquo Magazine.
Another highly recommended read, Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s can help prevent frustration and struggles as your loved one gets further into the disease. You can see my review here.