Companion Care at Home Advice on Macular Degeneration

Companion Care at Home Advice on Macular Degeneration

 October 10, 2023

A woman looking at her phone while wearing glasses.

Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that mostly affects older people. The disease gets worse over time and can cause people to lose a lot of their sight or even go blind. As the world’s population ages, concerns about macular degeneration increase.

Loved ones and seniors should have a basic understanding of macular degeneration to ensure the best care. Seniors who struggle with vision issues, can benefit from companion care at home. Whether or not they’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a long-term eye disease that impacts the macula, a tiny but important part of the retina. The macula is in charge of clear central vision, which is needed for things like reading, driving, and recognizing people. Over time, macular degeneration hurts the eye, which makes it harder to see.

Macular degeneration comes in two main types. Dry macular degeneration is the most common type, making up about 85 to 90% of cases. It happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly die off, resulting in drusen or small yellow spots. Dry macular degeneration usually gets worse slowly and can cause seniors to lose their central vision.

The other type of macular degeneration is called wet macular degeneration. This type is less common, but the effects are worse. It happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These vessels can leak blood and fluid, which can lead to rapid and serious vision loss.

Who is at Risk For Macular Degeneration?

The exact cause of macular degeneration is still not fully known, but there are a number of things that put people at risk for it.

  • Age: The chance of getting macular degeneration goes up with age, and most cases happen in people over 50.
  • Genetics: Having a family background of macular degeneration can make the chance of getting it much higher.
  • Smoking: Smoking is a big risk factor that can be changed. People who smoke have a greater chance of getting retinal degeneration and seeing it get worse.
  • Race and Gender: Women and Caucasians are more likely to have AMD.
  • Higher Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can trigger macular degeneration or cause it to be worse.

How Does Macular Degeneration Affect Older People?

If diagnosed with macular degeneration, there are a few things that both you and your loved one’s the companion care at home team will need to know. The first of these is that putting safety measures in place can significantly support seniors in many instances while allowing them to remain in their homes.

Not being able to see well increases fall risk, which is already a significant risk as one ages. Loved ones and the companion care at home team will need to be diligent in reducing the risk of falls by assessing the layout of the home and ensuring seniors have access to mobility aids. Additionally, ensuring seniors have consistent contact with their eye doctor is key.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, there are a number of things that can be done to control and slow its progression. Loved ones can encourage seniors to maintain their eye appointments, make changes to their lifestyle, and encourage the use of assistance through companion care at home and things like magnifiers and computer screen readers. Seniors, their families, and healthcare professionals should all work together to deal with this growing public health problem to ensure the best care.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Companion Care at Home in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202

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