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What Family Caregivers Should Know About Astigmatism

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

According to Palm Desert in-home care providers, astigmatism is one of the most common types of vision problems among adults. This condition causes blurry vision and distortion of eyesight. Astigmatism is caused by an abnormal curvature of the cornea, which is a part of the eye that’s responsible for focusing on objects. Aging can increase the risk of astigmatism along with other common eye problems like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Following is everything family caregivers should know about astigmatism.

Senior citizens who have astigmatism might also experience frequent headaches and dizziness. Such symptoms are quite common when people look at blurry images for several hours a day. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that astigmatic individuals wear the appropriate corrective eyeglasses. An eye doctor can prescribe the right lenses that specify the degree of correction and compensation for a patient’s astigmatism. In addition to identifying the refractive power for both eyes, the prescription for eyeglasses must clearly define the cylinder and axis specifications. An extra thick lens might have to be prescribed for people who have severe astigmatism along with a relatively common form of nearsightedness or farsightedness. 

Even though toric contact lenses are available for astigmatism, they are not recommended for senior citizens. This is because elderly individuals will most likely struggle to insert and remove the small contact lenses, thus damaging their eyes further. Additionally, it might be difficult for seniors to properly rinse, clean and store the contact lenses, which puts them at risk of infection. 

Seniors who’d like to correct their astigmatism might consider refractive surgery such as LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy. During such procedures, the cornea is precisely reshaped to a relatively normal curvature. However, senior citizens who have existing eye problems like glaucoma might not be good candidates for refractive surgery. An experienced eye surgeon will determine if an elderly patient with astigmatism is likely to benefit in the long term from the reshaping of the cornea.

Seniors with vision problems might benefit from having an extra pair of eyes and hands around the house. With Home Care Assistance, your loved one will get the hourly or live-in home care Palm Desert seniors need to maintain independence while tackling everyday activities like housekeeping or running errands. Contact us at (760) 345-0001 today to meet with a friendly Care Manager and customize a care plan for your loved one.