Vision changes are common in older adults. The lens becomes a little harder and less pliable, the muscle tone changes, and eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts become more prevalent. One of the most common changes that affect most older adults is known as presbyopia. When the fine print is harder to read, presbyopia is happening.
Routine eye exams are important. You want to catch any vision changes early while corrective measures are possible. While you’re at an appointment, talk to your parents’ eye doctor about exercises that help aging eyes. There’s no quick fix to vision changes, but some exercises can help your parents manage the changes that help with presbyopia.
What Causes Presbyopia?
Presbyopia occurs when the lens becomes a little stiffer and isn’t as flexible as it used to be. The change to the lens’ shape makes it harder to see fine details. Reading fine print or threading a needle are two of the biggest changes you experience. If your parents need reading glasses to read an instruction manual, coupon, or food label, presbyopia is present.
If your parents don’t take any steps to help their eyes, eye strain and headaches are likely. Prescription glasses and bifocals can help. Surgical laser eye treatment is another possibility. Some exercises help, too.
Exercises That May Help
Your eye doctor may not feel that eye exercises are beneficial. Some doctors believe in them, but others don’t. Some of the common ones are to look at blurry objects and switch to looking at clear ones to help your brain quickly recognize the difference.
Another exercise that’s suggested is one that teaches the brain to work on contrast recognition. You study words written in different shades of gray to help strengthen the brain’s ability to visualize the differences.
One exercise has you covering the stronger of your two eyes with an eye patch. You then go about your usual routine and force the weaker eye to do the work. It’s believed this can help strengthen the weaker of the two eyes.
Is It Challenging to Schedule Appointments for Your Parents?
What’s most important is that your parents see their eye doctor each year. If their vision changes keep them from driving, you may find it difficult to get the time off to schedule and drive them to their eye appointments.
You can make this easier for your family by arranging senior care. Your parents have a companion to drive them to appointments, help them understand the doctor’s orders, and pick up prescription medications if needed. Senior care providers can also schedule follow-up appointments and let you know all of that information.
Senior care services help your whole family. It reduces your stress as a family caregiver and provides your parents with the support they need to remain independent. Call to learn more.
your parents with the support they need to remain independent. Call to learn more.
Sources: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-presbyopia https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004269890900282X