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Alzheimer’s and vision – what’s the link?

In honour of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we want to spread awareness about the effect that Alzheimer’s disease can have on your vision. Although the loss of both hearing and sight are common problems of ageing, Alzheimer’s can cause additional problems in both areas. Read on to learn more about Alzheimer’s and vision changes.

Alzheimer’s and vision

People who are diagnosed with dementia can experience damage to their visual system which can result in vision loss. Eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, are some of the main causes of sight loss in people with dementia. In addition, vision can be affected by the normal ageing of the eye. That said, people with dementia may also experience visual problems while having good eye health as dementia affects the part of the brain that deals with visual information coming from the eyes.

Signs to look out for

It can be difficult to separate the signs of sight loss from dementia symptoms. Some signs to watch out for include:

  • decreased peripheral vision
  • trouble reading
  • difficulty recognising people
  • struggling to avoid obstacles
  • trouble locating food on the plate when eating
  • experiencing depth perception issues
  • being unable to find things
  • experiencing poor vision even when wearing glasses
  • difficulty coping with low or bright light.

Coping with changes

Vision problems can lead to disorientation and mobility issues which can  increase the risk of falls. If you know somebody who has these symptoms or who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to take steps to cope with these changes. We recommend:

  • regular eye tests to monitor vision and make the most of their sight
  • adjusting the environment such as having brighter or dimmer lights
  • reorganising the home so it’s hazard-free and easier for them to move around

Book your appointment

To ensure you or your loved one’s vision is the best it can be, book an appointment at our opticians in Drumchapel or contact us with any of your questions or concerns.