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Does Your Parent Suffer from Dry Eyes?

Elder Care in Rhode Island and Dry Eyes

When a person blinks, a film of tears covers the eyes to keep the surface smooth and clear of debris. This film of tears keeps the eyes moist and maintains good vision. There are times when the eyes don’t make enough tears, or something affects this protective layer. In these cases, a person will develop dry eyes.

Dry eye is a condition that is common after the age of 50, particularly for women who have gone through menopause. People tend to produce fewer tears as they get older due to hormonal changes. Dry eye is a condition difficult to ignore. The eyes can sting and burn. Vision can become blurry. Every time a person blinks, there is a scratchy or gritty sensation. This lack of lubrication can damage the eye’s protective surface and impact vision.

If a parent is suffering from dry eyes, seek medical treatment before permanent eye damage takes place.

Elder Care in Rhode Island - Dry Eyes

What Are the Causes of Dry Eye?

Dry eyes typically link back to one or two issues. One issue is when the glands that produce tears are not producing enough. With fewer tears lubricating the eyes, they become drier. The other issue is when tears are missing enough oil or mucus. Tears are water mixed with oil and mucus to help spread them evenly over the eyes. Without this mixture, tears will not cover the eyes, and dry eyes occur.

How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?

The first step to determining if a parent suffers from dry eye is a diagnosis by a medical professional. An ophthalmologist typically begins with an eye exam to study the surface of the eyes and the eyelids. They may also observe how the person blinks or test to measure the quality and thickness of their tears. There are many different tests to diagnose dry eyes and treatments to address the condition.

How is Dry Eye Treated?

Oil-based lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, are often one of the first things an eye specialist will advise patients to use. Flaxseed or fish oil capsules increase Omega-3 fatty acids and may be recommended to improve oil production and flow. A doctor might suggest warm compresses on the eyes for 15-30 minutes each day to help clear tear duct blockages. They may also recommend prescription medication to trigger the body to produce more tears.

If a parent is suffering from dry eyes and it’s impacting their driving, elder care at home may be a comfortable solution. Caregivers can assist with activities of daily living and provide transportation to stores and appointments as needed. They can also remind aging loved ones to take medications on time for their dry eye condition.

 

Do you have a parent or aging loved one that could benefit from elder care in Rhode Island or Connecticut? We can help.

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