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Managing Glaucoma: Tips for Seniors
If you’re one of the nearly 80 million people worldwide living with glaucoma, daily life can sometimes be challenging. Vision loss caused by the disease can significantly impact your independence and quality of life. Managing glaucoma – and the symptoms that come with it – can help slow or prevent vision loss. Learn tips for managing glaucoma below.
Understand Your Condition
There are various types of glaucoma – including open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma – and all have different treatment options and medications. The first step to managing glaucoma is understanding your type and the treatments, symptoms, and severity of your condition. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor!
Diet can directly impact your eye health. Support your eye health by incorporating foods that contain vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene, vitamin A, zinc, vitamin B6, anthocyanins, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Eye-healthy foods include:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Fatty fish
Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet.
Those managing glaucoma may shy away from reading due to increased difficulty from vision loss. But for many, reading is one of the greatest joys in life. While it may take you a little longer to finish a book these days, there are tools to help. Consider these tips:
- Use a magnifying glass or reading glasses when reading a physical book.
- If using an electronic reading device, zoom in so the text is larger.
- Do not read in dim lighting, which can cause eye strain.
- Explore audiobooks and text-to-speech technology.
Exercise with Care
All seniors should prioritize physical activity as it’s vital to a healthy lifestyle. However, those managing glaucoma must be careful, as specific exercises can increase eye pressure, which can worsen glaucoma symptoms. Avoid:
- Intense exercises, such as running.
- Yoga or stretching positions that cause you to place your head below your heart (head-down positions).
- Lifting heavy weights.
Talk to your doctor about what exercise routine is right for you.
Safeguard Your Home
Seniors are already at an increased risk of falling – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every second of every day, a senior (aged 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S. When you add low vision to the equation, that risk increases even more. When living with glaucoma, add these home safety tips to your to-do list:
- Use nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
- Install extra lighting on stairs.
- Remove area rugs.
- Tape wires/cords to floors/walls.
- Mark the edges of steps with brightly colored tape.
- Arrange furniture so there are clear paths through rooms.
How Grand Oaks Can Help
At Grand Oaks Senior Living, we offer many safety features that can help seniors managing glaucoma, like non-skid rugs, color-contrasting friction tape in showers and bathtubs, a color-contrasting toilet seat, larger TV remotes, a larger thermostat, talking clocks, and more. Activities like large print word search puzzles and board games are also available. Contact us today to schedule a tour.