Healthy ageing and older people

Introduction:

Vision problem is one of the most common health issues in older people. With growing age, there are many pathophysiological changes in the retina, cornea and rod and cone cells which cause poor eyesight (Johnson and Chang, 2014). This study will discuss the age-related vision issues that older adults face with the growing age. The poster will highlight the potential impacts of vision problems on the health and wellbeing of older adults and also recommend effective strategies in effective management and prevention of vision problems in aged people.

Overview of age-related vision problems:

Vision problems are common in older people (Wolski et al. 2019). Age-related vision problem becomes a major health concern in the modern era in elderly people. Worldwide, more than 75% of older adults suffer from different types of vision problems such as blurred vision, visual impairment (partial or complete), retinal destruction, eye pain, floater and spots in the field of vision and surface pain (Leroi et al. 2019.). Worldwide 1 in 3 older adults suffers from vision problems (Wolski et al. 2019). More than 35% of the elderly people living with vision problems suffer from blurred vision and complete or partial visual impairment.

Pathophysiology of visual impairment in older adults:

Pathophysiology of vision problems in older people shows that, that with growing age several changes occur in the nerves, muscles and even in the regions of the brain that control the function and movement of the eye (Clarke, 2018). Several risk factors are associate with causing age-related vision problems such as refractive errors, glaucoma and cataracts (Marsden, 2017). In the case of reactive errors, there is a problem in focusing clear and accurate light on the retina due to changes in the shape of cornea and rod and cone cells. There are severe age-related refractive errors such as far-sightedness, near-sightedness (most common), redness in the eye and pain on the eye surface (Clarke, 2018). A cataract is a potential reason for developing an age-related vision problem in which a cloud is developed on the lens of the eye thereby causing the blur (Gamage et al. 2019). Pathophysiological study shows that in elderly people there are changes in the shape and function of the muscles, nerves, rod and cone cells, and the sensory system that are associated with eye functions which leads to a decrease in vision. As the age grows there is macular degeneration which creates a hole at the centre of the cone which leads to reduces and blurred vision (Ahmad, 2017). With ageing, there is a reduction in the ability of muscles and tissues that control eye movement which then causes reduces eyesight.

Impacts of vision problem in older adults:

Vision problems in older adults reduce their quality of living. Elderly people with vision problems have difficulties in performing their activities of daily living which impact their healthy living (Gbessemehlan et al. 2021). Reduced eyesight, blurred vision and visual impairment posed adverse impacts on both the physical and psychological health condition (Gamage et al. 2019). Older adults who live with vision problems are more likely to face different additional health issues such as headache, eye stroke, reduced functioning of retinal nerve, poor brain function. On the other hand, due to vision problems older adults suffer from severe psychological distress which develops different mental health conditions in them such as depression, frustration, anxiety, fear of losing complete vision and loneliness.

Management of visual issues in older adults:

Although age-related vision problems cannot be prevented completely by following some strategies it is possible to manage and prevent the symptoms of vision problems in older people.

Nurses must motivate older adults to make regular monthly appointments with the ophthalmologist for proper eye check-ups (Marsden, 2017). Nurses must recommend older people to the best ophthalmologist to get the best clinical guidance in maintaining good eye health.

Community care nurses must ensure that, while providing care to older people in the home setting, the house would be free from any kind of sharp objects scattered on the floor to prevent falls of older people (Clarke et al. 2018).

Older adults can do eye exercise as recommended by their physicians which can improve the functions of eye muscles and nerves thereby preventing the further loss of eyesight (Johnson and Chang, 2014).

Nurses must ensure that older people must use the recommended eye drops and eye ointment regularly (Miller, 2018). By following a good medical regime, an older adult can prevent the further decrease of vision.

Family members must ensure that aged people which have vision problems are provided with good lighting in every risky place of hoes such as stairs, closets, hallways and staircases.

Conclusion:

From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that vision problems are very common health conditions in elderly people. with growing age, there are changes in shape and function of cornea, retina, corneal nerves, muscle and rod and cone cells, which cause vision issues. Through providing proper safeguarding care and support to older adults an effective management ad prevention of vision problems in older people is possible.

Reference list:

Ahmad, I., 2017. Low Vision associated with Diabetes in Older People. Ophthalmology, 15(4), p.411.

Bernoth, M. and Winkler, D., 2017. Healthy ageing and aged care. Oxford University Press.

Clarke, E.L., Evans, J.R. and Smeeth, L., 2018. Community screening for visual impairment in older people. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (2).

Gamage, N., Rathnayake, N. and Alwis, G., 2019. Prevalence and associated risk factors of falls among rural community-dwelling older people: A cross-sectional study from southern sri lanka. Current gerontology and geriatrics research, 2019.

Gbessemehlan, A., Edjolo, A., Helmer, C., Delcourt, C., Mbelesso, P., Ndamba-Bandzouzi, B., Samba, H., Kehoua, G., Dartigues, J.F., Houinato, D. and Preux, P.M., 2021. Vision Impairment and Adverse Health Conditions in Congolese Older People: A Population-Based Study. Gerontology, pp.1-10.

Johnson, A. and Chang, E., 2014. Caring for older people in Australia: Principles for nursing practice.

Leroi, I., Himmelsbach, I., Wolski, L., Littlejohn, J., Jury, F., Parker, A., Charalambous, A.P., Dawes, P., Constantinidou, F., Thodi, C. and (SENSE-Cog Expert Reference Group), 2019. Assessing and managing concurrent hearing, vision and cognitive impairments in older people: an international perspective from healthcare professionals. Age and ageing, 48(4), pp.580-587.

Marsden, J., 2017. Preserving vision and promoting visual health in older people. Nursing older people, 29(6).

Miller, C.A., 2018. Nursing for wellness in older adults. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wolski, L., Leroi, I., Regan, J., Dawes, P., Charalambous, A.P., Thodi, C., Prokopiou, J., Villeneuve, R., Helmer, C., Yohannes, A.M. and Himmelsbach, I., 2019. The need for improved cognitive, hearing and vision assessments for older people with cognitive impairment: a qualitative study. BMC geriatrics, 19(1), pp.1-12.

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