Medical Alerts for Seniors with Poor Vision

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Poor Vision

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Poor vision usually starts to occur around age 40 and often becomes progressively worse with each passing year. Approximately one in three people suffer from vision loss by the age of 65, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Poor Vision Overview

Natural eye aging is a condition known as presbyopia. There is no escaping presbyopia. As a result of aging, you will likely ultimately suffer from some degree of poor eyesight. The most common causes of poor vision are related to disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

  • Macular degeneration: Macular degeneration, which is caused by aging, features loss of central vision. At first, the condition is often asymptomatic, so regular eye examinations are highly recommended for anyone over the age of 50.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts are a common condition of the elderly. They cause poor vision, but surgery can quickly restore sight.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: During the first year of suffering diabetes, many elderly patients start to experience diabetic retinopathy, which causes poor vision.
  • Glaucoma: It is estimated that one million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from some form of glaucoma, which causes poor eyesight.
  • Pupil size: Seniors usually experience reduced pupil size as a result of weakening muscles. This means that you will need three times more ambient light to see clearly than a younger person.
Poor Vision Impairment

From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, you require your vision to function. Poor eyesight affects every avenue of your day-to-day existence and can dramatically impact your lifestyle and independence. 

  • Difficulty driving
  • Problems reading
  • Inability to see obstacles
  • Depression
Medical Alert Benefits

Poor vision impacts your entire life. You may not see an obstacle in your home which could cause you to stumble and fall. Cooking is also difficult because you might not see clearly enough to know if you successfully shut off the stovetop or oven. Making a phone call is hard because you may not be able to clearly see the numbers. If you should fall, having medical alerts will allow you to instantly summon help without having dial a number.

Sometimes the symptoms of poor vision creep up on a person, and they do not realize that their eyesight is lagging until it is critically impaired. Here are several symptoms of poor eyesight.

  • Hazy vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Seeing spots, spider webs, rainbows or flashes of light
  • Feeling as if your eyesight is veiled with a curtain
  • Not being able to see fully. One corner or section of your vision might be blacked out
  • Painful eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Itching eyes
  • Sensitivity to light or glare
Safety Without Medical Alerts

If you are suffering from poor vision, you can, of course, opt to live without medical alerts. However, you should consider modifying your lifestyle to create a safer environment and prevent possible accidents.

  • Hazy vision: You can increase the ambient lighting in your home to make things appear brighter. Placing mirrors throughout the house will also help reflect light and make the room brighter.
  • Sensitivity to lights or glare: Wearing a pair of sunglasses will help protect your eyes from glare.
  • Blurred vision: Install telephones with large print keypads or dials to be able to quickly call for help.
  • Not being able to see fully: Install hand bars throughout the house to utilize for safety and to find your way through a dark hallway or another region of the home. Eliminate obstacles in the home such as throw rugs, frayed carpeting and electrical cords. Installing non-skid flooring is also beneficial.
Poor Vision Precautions
  • Moving around: Moving around with poor vision can be difficult. You may not notice uneven flooring, obstacles, electrical cords, or stair heights correctly. Installing stairwell lighting and eliminating possible obstacles are all beneficial in preventing a possible fall.
  • Seek help for depression: Failing eyesight often leads a senior on a downward spiral of depression. Seeking professional help and the support of friends and family will help cope with the upheaval of emotions that you may be feeling from living with poor vision.
  • Modify the home to cope with poor vision: Modifying the home by increasing lighting and color contrast and reducing glare are all key in improving vision. Installing more lights, painting the rooms a brighter, lighter shade, and using blinds to control natural sunlight can help improve the environment.
Poor Vision Medical Alerts Conclusion

Medical alert services are beneficial to any senior suffering from poor vision. In the event of an emergency, you do not have to struggle to see the numbers on a phone to call for help. With medical alerts, you can quickly summon help just by pressing a button. Age-related vision changes are an evitable part of growing older, but there are ways that you can maintain your independence. The ease of medical alert systems provides peace of mind and allows you to safely live independently.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.