Monday, August 31, 2015

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is a very common eye disease that causes vision loss and blindness in individuals that are 65 years and older.  What distinguishes this from other eye disorders is that macular degeneration causes a loss in the center of the field of vision.  Blurry vision is a key symptom that is noticed in individuals with this condition.  Any changes from your normal vision may cause you to become discouraged because the five minutes that you used to be able to do your daily task in could now have turned into 20 minutes.  Regular eye examinations are important to your overall vision health and should not be put off much longer.

Age-related macular degeneration is a degeneration of the macula…as the name states.  The macula is a part of the retina that is responsible for the sharp central vision that is required in order for you to read or drive.  As always, everyone is different in how they experience medical conditions and how well they respond to treatment.  However some signs and symptoms of macular degeneration include:

·        Vision abnormality where straight lines appear wavy
·        Blurred vision…of course
·        Distorted vision
·        Inability to see when light is dim
·        Partial vision loss
·        Seeing spots
·        Dry eyes
·        Abnormal blood vessels appearing in the eyes
·        Slow, painless loss of vision

Macular degeneration will be diagnosed by your provider as either dry or wet.  Wet macular degeneration refers to growth of new blood vessels in an area, such as the macula, where they should not be.  The dry form of macular degeneration is more common, and the wet form usually leads to more serious vision loss.  Since dry macular degeneration is more common, here are some characteristics:

·        Early stage of the disease that may result from aging & thinning of macular tissues
·        Diagnosed when yellow spots begin to build up in and around the macula
·        The yellow spots are believed to be deposits from tissue that is deteriorating
·        Gradual central vision may occur with dry macular degeneration

Total Home Health is all about prevention and working hard to ensure your most optimal health at all times.  Sometimes in order to be healthy you have to take control and make small lifestyle changes in order to prevent bigger health problems in the future.  Such as in the case of macular degeneration…some of the best ways to prevent this from happening to you is eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and wearing sunglasses that will protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.  In case you’re wondering, here are some risk factors for macular degeneration:

·        Smoking
·        Family history
·        High blood pressure
·        Having a lighter eye color
·        Obesity
·        High levels of dietary fat
·        Over-exposure to sunlight
·        Lack of activity
·        Side effects of medication

Although there is no definitive treatment to cure macular degeneration, a special combination of vitamins and minerals may reduce the progression of the disease.  Surgery may also be an option.  Complete restoration of your vision will not happen.  Treatment of the type of macular degeneration you are diagnosed with will be individualized to what extent your vision is compromised.  Once your provider determines your treatment and performs the initial care, Total Home Health will take it from there and maintain your vision health in your home.  Don’t wait any longer, enroll today!

Having to either cope yourself, or watch your loved ones cope with macular degeneration and vision loss can be a devastating experience.  The tasks once enjoyed such as reading the mail, shopping, cooking, and writing can all begin to get challenging.  When you are no longer able to do the things you enjoy at a suitable level, you begin to have feelings of hopelessness and hate the thought of having to depend on someone else to do things for you.  It’s human nature.  However, you will find the help you need with our professional services and staff with Total Home Health.  We may not be able to restore your vision, but we will introduce you to many ways to help make the most of what you’ve got left.  What are you waiting for?  Enroll with Total Home Health today!


Blindness is a condition that can leave an individual very devastated because they can no longer see those they love and do most things they once enjoyed.  Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.  The scary part is that glaucoma can cause damage so slowly that you may not notice any vision loss until the disease has become advanced.  Therefore, the more advanced glaucoma is, the less chance you will have at treatment being as effective.  Glaucoma is not just one specific disease of the eye; it is a group of eye conditions that result in damage to your optic nerve that will generally lead to vision loss.

Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is the key to minimize or prevent damage to your optic nerve and limit vision loss related to glaucoma.  Total Home Health wants to emphasize to you just how important a regular eye examination is in order to maintain your eye health and prevent potential problems that could be devastating to you.  A majority of the time, glaucoma causes vision damage because of an abnormally high intraocular pressure (a pressure inside your eye)…so it is important that your eye doctor measures this level routinely.

There are different types of glaucoma and the most common types include open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.  These two types have completely different symptoms.

            Open-Angle Glaucoma Signs & Symptoms
ü  Gradual loss of peripheral vision, usually in both eyes
ü  In advanced stages you will notice tunnel vision

            Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma Signs and Symptoms
ü  Pain in the eye
ü  Nausea and vomiting
ü  Sudden onset of vision disturbance
ü  Blurry vision
ü  Seeing “halos” around lights
ü  Noticing redness in the eye

Both types listed above can either be primary or secondary conditions.  They are primary when the cause is unknown and secondary when the condition can be linked to a known cause, such as an eye injury, medications, diabetes, etc.  Don’t put off your eye exam any longer, go before your problems start…it could make your life easier.  Your provider and our professionals at Total Home Health will keep you well informed regarding the type of glaucoma you are affected with in order to continually adjust your treatment and keep your vision the best it can be.

            Glaucoma Risk Factors
ü  Increased internal eye pressure
ü  Over age 40, especially over age 60
ü  African-Americans over age 40 have an increased risk
ü  Family history of glaucoma
ü  Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and hypothyroidism
ü  Eye injury, eye tumors, retinal detachment, eye inflammation
ü  Long-term corticosteroid use, especially eye drops.

Once you seek medical attention for any changes you notice in your vision, your provider will complete a comprehensive eye examination and thoroughly review your medical history.  To get prepared, here is a list and simple explanation of several tests will be completed during your eye doctor visit in order to diagnose glaucoma, including:

            Measuring Intraocular Pressure
ü  This is completed by a Tonometry procedure.  This procedure is simple and painless.  It is done after your eyes are numbed with eye drops.  Tonometry is usually the initial screening test to diagnose glaucoma by determining the level of pressure in your eyes.
            Testing the Optic Nerve
ü  To check for damage in the optic nerve, your eye doctor will look into your eye with various instruments.
            Visual Field Test
ü  A special test will be completed to test your side (peripheral) vision.
            Visual Acuity
ü  Your ability to see from a distance will be evaluated during this test.
            Measuring Cornea Thickness
ü  Your eyes are numbed for this, don’t worry.  Once the thickness of your cornea is determined, it will be compared to your eye pressure…and so on.  The higher the pressure, the more likely it is that you have glaucoma.

The ultimate goal for treatment if you have glaucoma is to lower the pressure in your eye and keep it under control.  Glaucoma cannot be cured and any damage that has happened because of it cannot be reversed.  However, treatment and having regular eye checkups can prevent vision loss in people with glaucoma caught in earlier stages.  But, if vision loss has already occurred, treatment can slow or prevent any more vision loss in the future.  Treatment can range from eye drops, to oral medications, to surgery.  Your provider will decide what treatment method is best for you, and then Total Home Health will maintain your vision health once you return home.
Total Home Health has a program that is right for your needs related to glaucoma.  This condition can result in total blindness if left untreated.  Our health professionals will be very involved in your care and see that you receive the best treatment possible so that you do not become a statistic of glaucoma.  There are ways to slow glaucoma down and maybe even prevent total blindness completely…Total Home Health wants to show you how!  Enroll today to be on your way to never losing sight of the future and living your life the best you possibly can. 


Our eyes are very important to our overall health; we rely on our vision tremendously to get us through each and every day.  The health of our eyes should be taken seriously in order to maintain our vision as best as possible for the longest time we possibly can.  Once you begin to lose your vision it can be very devastating to both you and those around you.  Total Home Health has a program that will fit your needs related to having cataracts and your overall vision health.  Our professional staff will work diligently with you so you can continue to see your life unfold in front of you now and in the future.

There may a time when you notice your vision has become cloudy, consistently over a period of time.  It may feel like you have something in your eye blocking your vision that just won’t go away.  It will be very annoying and at this point, you most likely have a cataract.  A cataract can simply be explained as a clouding of the lens of your eye that is normally clear.  If you ask someone with a cataract to explain what their vision is like, they will probably tell you that what they see is similar to looking through a foggy window.

Clouded vision caused by cataracts can be detrimental to your health and cause a decline in how well you complete the tasks of your normal daily routine.  Cataracts can make it increasingly difficult for you to read, drive a car (especially at night), and even see the faces of the ones you love.  The majority of cataracts will develop gradually, and thankfully they do not completely disturb your vision in the early stages while they are developing.  Dealing with cataracts in the early stages can be done by using stronger light more often and wearing eyeglasses to complete your normal tasks.  Once cataracts develop enough to interfere more greatly with your normal activities, surgery may be required to remove the cataracts for your overall health and safety.  The good thing is…cataract surgery is a routine procedure that is generally safe and effective.

            Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts
ü  Clouded, blurry, or vision that is dim
ü  More difficulty seeing at night
ü  Increased sensitivity to light and glare
ü  Complaints of seeing “halos” around lights
ü  Frequent changes in the prescription of your eyeglasses
ü  Colors that appear faded or more yellow
ü  Double vision that occurs only in one eye

As cataracts begin to develop, at first they may affect only a small part of the lens of your eye and you probably won’t even be aware of any vision loss.  However, once the cataract grows larger more clouding will occur that will ultimately lead to you experiencing more noticeable signs and symptoms similar to the ones listed above.  Total Home Health recommends that you make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as you notice any vision changes, because the quicker you get treatment…the better the outcome will be for your vision health.

            Causes of Cataracts
ü  Aging or injury to the tissue that makes up the lens of your eye
ü  Inherited genetic disorders can increase your risk
ü  Other conditions of the eye
ü  Medical conditions such as diabetes, trauma, or past eye surgery
ü  Long-term use of steroid medications, such as prednisone

Once you seek medical attention related to your clouded vision, you will be informed of your options for treatment depending upon the extent to which your vision is affected.  There are a few different types of cataracts and your provider will most likely be able to distinguish which one is affecting you in order to keep you well informed of your condition.  Frequent vision exams will most likely part of your future if you experience cataract(s) in order to be proactive and catch any more vision changes before they cause you more problems.

            Risks for Cataracts

ü  Increasing age
ü  Diabetes
ü  Drinking alcohol in excess
ü  Excess exposure to sunlight
ü  Family history
ü  High blood pressure
ü  Obesity
ü  Previous eye injury or surgery
ü  Smoking

If you fall into any one of those risk categories above, be proactive and work to incorporate changes in your lifestyle sooner than later.  Even the smallest of changes could make all the difference in your overall vision health down the road.  Total Home Health will be by your side throughout your care with us and our professionals will help you adjust your lifestyle to deal with your cataracts and work to prevent further worsening.  Seeing is believing and we want you to see for yourself how well Total Home Health will fit into your lifestyle, enroll today!