SPOT PROBLEMS EARLY!
Since visual problems are increasingly common with age – and often preventable – it is important to be regularly checked by an eye care specialist (optometrist or ophthalmologist). He/she will check your vision and eye fluid pressure, and get a good look at the outside (cornea) and inside (retina) of your eyes.
PROTECT YOUR PRECIOUS EYES!
- Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
- See your doctor regularly to check for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure; both can cause visual problems if not treated.
RED FLAGS FOR SEEING AN EYE CARE SPECIALIST RIGHT AWAY:
- Blurring or loss of vision
- Double vision
- Flashing of light
- Pain in your eye(s)
EYE DISORDERS & DISEASES:
The following conditions may have few or no early symptoms, but may, if left untreated, lead to vision loss or blindness. Regular eye exams are key! A few common conditions:
- Cataracts (cloudy areas which may cause blurred or hazy vision)
- Corneal diseases (from scratches to infection; may lead to halo effect in vision)
- Dry eye(s) (when tear glands don’t work well)
- Glaucoma (elevated eye chamber pressure)
- Retinal disorders (such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy)
TIPS FOR LOW VISION
(a common problem among the elderly):
If glasses, medicine, and/or surgery won’t help, consider these tips:
- Upgrade lighting
- Use large print materials
- Use magnifying aids or audio tapes, etc.
National Eye Institute Hotline: 1-301-496-5248
DOWNLOAD IN PDF FORMAT
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly adults.
Approximately one in three people ages 65-74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of adults older than 75 have trouble hearing.
SIGNS OF HEARING LOSS
See your doctor if you:
- Have trouble hearing over the telephone.
- Often ask people to repeat themselves.
- Need to turn up the TV volume that others can hear well.
- Have difficulty hearing because of background noise.
Sudden Deafness is a medical emergency. Immediately seeks medical care!
CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS
- Inner ear damage from constant loud noises (e.g. lawn mowers, high-volume music, use of headphones, heavy machinery, trains); may result in permanent damage
- Accumulation of ear wax and/or fluid build-up
- Ear infections (viruses and bacteria)
- Foreign objects placed into the ear(s)
- Subsequent rupture of the eardrum
- Heart conditions, strokes, tumors
- Medications (e.g. large doses of aspirin, NSAIDS, certain antibiotics)
DEVICES TO ASSIST HEARING
- Hearing Aids: These popular devices help amplify sounds. There are many types of hearing aids; an audiologist (hearing aid specialist) will help you pick the best one for your needs.
- Alerting Devices: These connect to doorbells, alarm clocks, and smoke detectors to send a loud signal or blinking light.
- Cochlear Implants: These are electronic devices for people with severe hearing loss.
IF YOU HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM
- Don’t keep it a secret! Hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of.
- When speaking with someone, let that person know you have a hearing problem; if needed, ask him or her to reword a sentence and try again; ask people to face you and to speak more clearly and loudly.