The Effect of Alzheimers on Eyesight
Learn more about dementia
By learning more about dementia and understanding changes in memory and behaviour, you and your loved ones can feel empowered to reach out for the help and support you need.
This month, we’re encouraging everyone to know the signs and symptoms of dementia so they can get the right diagnosis and support as quickly as possible.
September is Alzheimer’s Month and is an opportunity to encourage more people to learn more about this disease. Alzheimer (known as dementia) causes changes in the brain that affect how a person sees things and how their brain processes this information, so we thought we’d write this blog to help make you aware of what to look out for and how you can hemp someone who has dementia.
What is the main cause of Alzheimer’s/dementia?
Alzheimer’s is the most common forms of dementia. Dementia mostly affects older adults (not all adults will experience dementia as it is not a normal part of ageing). Dementia is defined as the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities. This is caused by the brain being damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s (form of dementia) or strokes. The symptoms/types of dementia are dependent on the part of the brain that has been damaged and the disease that has caused it.
Early signs of dementia that are noticeable can include problems with day-to-day memory, but other symptoms may include difficulties finding the right words to say, decision making and problem solving. It is always best to seek medical advice if you suspect someone has neurological conditions that may be associated to dementia. Following a dementia diagnosis, there is also a lot of expert advice from dementia associations such as the Alzheimer’s Society who can help with support and information.
How does Alzheimer’s affect the eyes?
Dementia can cause changes in vision such as colours, awareness and how the person processes these. As we grow older our field of vision (called our peripheral vision) gradually reduces but for someone with dementia this can decrease to a central vision only 12-inch round straight in front of them. Unfortunately for someone with dementia this can deteriorate to the brain only sending messages from one eye if it is struggling to process information and this vision loss can be incredibly hard to understand for the person suffering with dementia.
Problems with a person’s eyesight can increase confusion in people with dementia because it makes it harder for them to recognise people or objects and perceive things such as distance. They can struggle with perceptions of how far away a person is from there or how high a step is when walking, for example. They can also have problems with identifying things properly and can make mistakes which causes confusion.
If a person with dementia has sight problems and needs to wear glasses then they may forget to keep them clean making their unnecessarily blurred vision and they may even forget to wear their glasses which would cause sight issues too.
Can you carry out a home eye test on someone with dementia?
At Opticall our opticians are DBS checked, highly trained, compassionate and experienced and can support people with disabilities, varying health conditions and additional needs. We can come to carry out a comprehensive NHS sight test and eye health check in the comfort of your loved ones home/care home. Check out Alzheimers.org.uk‘s webpage about the benefits of having eye care tests at home for people with dementia: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-and-factsheets/dementia-together/eye-care-tests-home-people-dementia.
We adapt how we deliver our eye tests dependent on each individual’s needs because we are passionate about our unique person-centre eyecare.
If you would like to find out more about our services or would like to book a home eye test then please give us a call on 020 8998 4228. Regular eye exams are so important to ensure everyone has the gift of optimum vision so they can see, live and enjoy life.