Visual Impairment or blindness was found among 35.8% of patients in Baltimore long-term care facilities in a study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers. Visual impairment is visual acuity between 20/200 or worse. Cataract is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes opaque or cloudy, usually painless and causes a slow and gradual loss of vision. Visual impairment is increasingly being recognized as a chronic care problem in the elderly, and not only in those confined to nursing homes. A recent study found that visual impairment, hypertension and heart diseases were among the leading chronic care conditions affecting the elderly.
Cataracts are an eye disorder that is common in elderly persons. To restore vision, the lens is removed surgically.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. Three million people are estimated to have glaucoma, and half are undiagnosed. The disease progresses slowly and impairs peripheral vision. Fortunately there are services available to provide information and referrals for eye examinations. It is important for people to be aware of the risk factors for glaucoma.
Are You At Risk?
Are you over age 40? Risk increase with age.
Are you of African-American heritage and age 35 or older? This group has more than five times the risk for glaucoma and it may appear a decade earlier.
Do you have a close relative (parent or sibling) with glaucoma?
Have you not seen an ophthalmologist for a medical eye examination in the past two years?
If you answered yes to two or more questions you could be at risk.