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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Older people see as if they are looking through a telescope. Symptoms of tunnel vision

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Imagine seeing the world as if you were constantly looking through a viewfinder or magnifying glass. This way of seeing applies to many older people. That’s why they stumble and fall even in a place they know well.

  • What is tunnel vision?
  • What other symptoms accompany tunnel vision?
  • What diseases can tunnel vision indicate?
  • How to help an elderly person with tunnel vision?

– Anyone who puts his hand into a telescope, looks through it and walks around the apartment will easily see what difficulties he will encounter. To better understand a patient’s world, a caregiver must put themselves in their shoes, at least for a moment, says Joanna Mainka, a psychogerontologist.

What is tunnel vision?

Tunnel vision is also called peripheral or telescopic vision. This is a vision defect that causes the patient to feel as if they are looking at the world as if they were looking through a keyhole, tunnel, or pipe. If we assume that a healthy person can see up to 180° without turning their head, then tunnel vision significantly narrows the field of vision. The patient cannot see what is above, below or to the sides. The edges seem scattered and blurred to him. There is no broader perspective. This leads to difficulties with spatial orientation, movement and basic activities. This vision defect mainly affects older people, although it can occur in other patients.

What other symptoms accompany tunnel vision?

Tunnel vision usually develops gradually over many years. Although this makes vision increasingly difficult, over time the patient gets used to this visual defect, although it still causes many difficulties. Peripheral vision is often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as:

  • eye pain,

  • squinting,

  • dark circles before the eyes,

  • bloodshot eyes,

  • headache,

  • dizziness,

  • problems with concentration,

  • nausea,

  • imbalances,

  • numbness of the neck,

  • problems with the spine.

If you notice symptoms of tunnel vision, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

What diseases can tunnel vision indicate?

Although tunnel vision occurs primarily in older adults, it can occur in younger patients as well. This may accompany conditions such as:

  • glaucoma,

  • migraine,

  • retinal disinsertion,

  • optic neuritis,

  • a brain tumor.

Tunnel vision is also a term known in psychology. This name describes a situation where the patient is in a very difficult situation, sees no chance of change and is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

How to help an elderly person with tunnel vision?

To make it easier for an elderly person to function in their own home, several proven patents can be implemented that will give them a chance for greater independence and increase the comfort of their lives. Here they are:

  • remove carpets or glue them to the floor so that the elder does not trip over fringes or protruding corners,

  • protection of cables and wires, they can be hidden under baseboards or behind furniture,

  • removing any “obstacles” that the elder might stumble over,

  • lighting the path to the toilet (for example, LEDs can be used for this purpose), this is extremely important, especially in the dark;

  • paint the toilet door a bright color or cover it with visible tape (people with dementia have trouble seeing white).

  • Patient area
  • Eye diseases and visual defects
  • Symptoms

Source: Wprost

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