The term glaucoma refers to various eye disorders, all of which are progressive and tend to result in damage to the optic nerve (which is a bundle of roughly one million nerve fibers that are responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye to the brain). Glaucoma is considered to be loss of vision as a result of damage to the nerve tissue.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the form of glaucoma patients experience most often, and it’s caused by an increase in the pressure of the fluid in the eye. Such pressure can cause gradual damage to the optic nerve over time and loss of nerve fibers. It can ultimately result in vision loss and even blindness.
1) How Old You Are
Most people over 60 are at risk, but African Americans tend to experience an increased risk after age 40. After these markers, the risk for glaucoma goes up each year.
2) Your Race
African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to develop glaucoma and to experience permanent vision loss as a result. Asians are more likely to develop angle-closer glaucoma, with people of Japanese descent being especially more likely to get low-tension glaucoma. Latin Americans are most at risk in very elderly populations.
3) Your Family History
If your family has a history of glaucoma, you’re more likely to develop it yourself.
4) Other Medical Conditions
Having certain medical conditions can increase the chances you’ll also develop glaucoma. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and low blood pressure have all been linked to glaucoma. Many people worry about high blood pressure (which can cause vision loss from glaucoma if left untreated), but few people worry about their blood pressure getting too low (hypotension). Nevertheless, hypotension is as serious a medical condition as hypertension and can cause damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.
5) Physical Injuries In And Around The Eye
Getting hit in the eye isn’t just extremely painful, it can also cause the pressure in the eye to escalate, either immediately after the injury and/or some time after the incident itself. Severe trauma to the eye can also dislocate the lens, which causes the drainage angle to close, thereby increasing pressure on the eye and causing all sorts of problems.
6) Other Risk Factors Related To The Eye
The anatomy of the eye itself varies slightly from person to person and the unique way your eyes are constructed might put you at an increased risk for glaucoma. For example, how thick your cornea is and the appearance of your optic nerve can both provide an idea of your personal risk for glaucoma. Conditions you might have developed over time, such as retinal detachment, tumors and any kind of inflammation in or around the eye, can all cause and/or exacerbate glaucoma. Some studies have also suggested you might be at increased risk for glaucoma if you’ve experienced a lot of nearsightedness.
7) Use Of Corticosteroids
Use of corticosteroids for an extended period of time has been linked to secondary glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a frightening prospect that can seriously inhibit our independence along with our vision. Because age is a primary factor in the development of glaucoma, you should be especially vigilant in looking out for it as loved ones get older, especially if they have one or more of the other risk factors.
At Stillwater Senior Living, we do everything we can to answer the questions of our seniors in our community. If we do not have the answer, we will find someone that does.
CONTACT US TODAY for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.
It can be hard enough to move one family member into an assisted living facility, but what if both parents are still living and one or both of them require professional care? Even if one spouse is perfectly healthy and active, they may not be able to fully care for their ailing partner, especially in the case of degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, in which they need to be monitored full time.
As people continue to live longer, it is becoming increasingly common for people over the age of 60 to report that they are still married, rather than single or widowed. Assisted living facilities all over the country are adapting and coming up with solutions to accommodate the varying needs of aging couples.
Here’s what you can do if you’re thinking about moving your parents into an assisted living facility:
1) Do Your Research
Depending on where you live and your financial situation, you may have a variety of facilities to choose from. Find out what each facility offers, including their options for couples, their ratings, their pay scales, etc.
The earlier you do your research the better. Don’t wait until you already need the facility because then you’ll be pressed for time and an emergency situation might develop. Be prepared with your information so that, as soon as you start seeing warning signs, you can begin talking to them about their options for assisted living.
2) Know the Costs
Long-term care for elderly family members can place a high financial burden on families, and again, the earlier you prepare, the better off you’ll be. In addition to saving early and often, your research into facilities should include the types of payment they receive. Not all of them accept Medicaid and which facilities you can afford will depend on which ones accept the types of payment you can provide.
In the case of couples where one partner needs more assistance than the other, it’s good to know that most facilities only charge each partner for the services they use. This means that, if one partner is still fairly independent while the other needs extensive care, the independent partner will only pay for room and board while the other will be charged for their medical expenses and necessary monitoring.
3) Be Prepared to Compromise
The aging process is different for everyone, but that doesn’t mean couples have to be separated. Just as compromises had to be made when they first moved in and started their lives together, they will be equally necessary when the time comes to move to an assisted living facility. Each partner will have different physical, medical, and emotional needs and it’s important to make sure they all get met. That will inevitably require some sacrifices on both sides, but for many couples, the process of moving into the next phase of their lives in an assisted living facility can be made that much easier if they can stay together.
There are many options available to help a seniors stay together. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff will do everything they can to ensure a smooth transition into the next adventure of their marriage.
CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.