As the largest American generation nears and reaches retirement age all at once, they also begin to face one or more of the many age-related diseases that come with time. Age-related conditions can include joint pain, cardiac issues, vision loss, cognitive decline, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. The concern with the lack of adequate nursing, care teams, availability of assisted living facilities, housing, health care, and more to accommodate this mass influx of aging Americans has been present for some time but is quickly becoming a reality.
Conditions leading to vision loss are set to skyrocket if effective interventions, starting with regular eye care, do not take place. NewView is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to provide low or no-cost exams specifically to aging Oklahomans who qualify for various grants provided by organizations like Boeing and Areawide Aging Agency. Vision loss affects much more than just your eyes. Other health risks associated with unaddressed vision loss include feelings of isolation and depression, balance problems, falls and injury, and an increased risk of early death.
Vision loss is a growing problem for aging Oklahomans. Vision deteriorating with age is common, and it is not a painful condition so it does not demand attention the way that arthritis might. For aging adults, there is often shame or fear associated with deteriorating eyesight. All these factors lead to vision loss being frequently undetected or underdiagnosed. Eye disorders are a leading chronic condition among those aged 65 years and older. In fact, over half of the total population living in long-term care (nursing homes) is affected by vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and general vision loss and blindness are expected to skyrocket by up to 150% in the next 30 years. In addition to this, expenses related to these vision diseases are expected to reach upwards of $8 billion by 2050.
It can be hard to know if someone else is experiencing vision loss, so it is important to know what to look for. Signs of vision loss include squinting, placing heads close to their book or desk, avoiding having to read, falling or bumping into things, changes in depth perception, and sudden eye pain and redness.
Not all vision loss is preventable or even predictable, but it is all manageable. Your loved ones can continue to live more independent and empowered lives for much longer if they receive the appropriate vision care. When vision loss is detected early, it allows their care team to teach them to use their remaining vision to use tools, such as visual aids and canes, and occupational therapy, before your loved one’s vision loss is more severe. Oklahomans should revive annual eye exams for early detection and management of all eye conditions. Cost is never a barrier at NewView. If you cannot afford vision care, please contact us to talk about your options.