OPTOMETRY & EYEWEAR with Melissa Hay, Visique Milford
Caring for Aging Eyes
Celebrating our 10th Anniversary
Here at Visique Milford Optometrists we see a huge variety of people through the practice. One of the areas I feel needs extra care and consideration is when dealing with older people who are losing their eyesight. If you put yourself in their shoes you can imagine that this is a very distressing and scary thing to be happening.
There are many common causes of eyesight loss – such as cataracts, glaucoma or macula degeneration. Cataracts are usually operable and can give people a huge improvement in vision with surgery. This always creates a ‘wow’ factor for them, as their vision is literally improved in minutes.
Glaucoma creates much slower vision loss, and it specifically damages their peripheral vision. This is treated with daily eye drops, which lower the pressure in the eye.
Macula degeneration is the most significant issue that can affect older people. Macula degeneration is where the central cells on the retina die away – either through natural old age, or a bleed inside the eye. This causes straight lines to appear wiggly and central vision to be weakened. This significantly impacts their reading ability and quality of life. Unfortunately there is no treatment for some forms of macula degeneration, and the only way to look after someone is through magnifying devices.
My approach, when dealing with these issues, is always to provide factual information in a plain English way so that my patients can understand how their eyes might be changing and how we can best maintain or improve their sight. Some lovely feedback I received from the mother of one of my patients said: “You stood firmly against her fears and clearly told her she was OK and doing the best she can to care for her sight. I just wanted you to know I thought you communicated with her wonderfully and I so appreciated this.”
The best way to look after your eyes is to come in for your regular eye exam, or, if you start to notice changes come and see us immediately. With diseases like Glaucoma, the earlier the diagnosis, the better we can treat it.
Visique Milford Optometrists,155 Kitchener Road, Milford. Phone 489 4797.
This month, Melissa Hay and the team at Visique Milford Optometrists celebrate their 10th anniversary! In this issue, Melissa takes a look at problems associated with older eyes...