Extended Family Home Care, in-home senior care agency in Denver, Colorado, understands the importance in routine eye exams in their elder clients. Seniors are at higher risk for eye disease and vision problems so it is important to watch for any unusual symptoms in someone you are caring for.
A recent study suggests even mild dilation of blood vessels in the retina may be a sign of cognitive decline in women 65 or older. This study from the University of California, San Francisco, links even mild retinopathy to cognitive decline and related vascular changes in the brain.
They believe this discovery suggests that simple eye screening could also serve as an indicator of cognitive changes in the brain. They believe early diagnosis and treatment may possibly reduce the progression of cognitive impairment to dementia.
Another advantage of thorough eye screening is the detection of hypertension or diabetes. Early diagnosis could allow for lifestyle changes or drug interventions when they could be most effective.
“Lots of people who are pre-diabetic or pre-hypertensive develop retinopathy,” said Mary Haan, DrPH, MPH, and UCSF professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. “Early intervention might reduce the progression to full onset diabetes or hypertension.”