As we grow older, it isn’t uncommon to experience minor vision problems. It might be dry, irritated eyes from staring at a computer too much or red, watery eyes that are the result of an allergy. But sudden changes in vision can be a warning signs of something more serious. From a detached retina to a stroke, there are vision issues older adults and caregivers shouldn’t ignore.
Vision Problems that Need Medical Intervention
Here are a few tips to help the Michigan caregivers who follow our blog identify the warning signs of potential problems:
- “Floaters” in Vision: A vision issue that requires immediate medical assistance often begins with what look like “floaters” in your eye sight. It is often a warning sign of a detached retina. A burst of light or color is another common symptom. It is important to get medical attention without delay to prevent blindness.
- Change in Vision: A sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes should never be ignored. Both can be warning signs of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). It requires immediate medical intervention. People sometimes wait to see if the symptoms disappear before calling for help. When someone is having a stroke, time is a critical factor for receiving life-saving treatment. Call 911 without delay!
- Dark Spots in Vision: If a dark spot appears in the center of a senior’s vision, it can be a symptom of macular degeneration. Problems distinguishing one color from another or difficulty reading signs are other early signs. Call your physician if you or the older adults you care for experience any of these symptoms. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in seniors.
- Blind Spots in Vision: When a blind spot appears in a senior’s vision, it can be a warning sign of several different medical conditions. High blood pressure and diabetes are a few of the most common. Call your primary care physician to see if they want you to come to their office or go to the emergency room.
- Halos or Cloudy Vision: Both of these warning signs can be symptoms of cataracts. Many seniors don’t realize how serious the condition can be. Left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to an Ophthalmologist if you don’t already have one you work with.
Medicare Coverage for Vision Problems
Many vision issues are preventable if caught early. Routine vision screenings are the best way to identify potential problems. To learn what eye exams and screenings your Medicare benefit will cover, visit Your Medicare Coverage.
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