Dementia and Eye Problems

dementia and eye problems

We regularly do home eye tests on patients with dementia.

Dementia is not a disease but a term used to describe symptoms including memory loss and difficulties with thinking.  These are the most well known symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease which is the most commonest cause of dementia but not the only disease.

The symptoms of dementia will vary according to the part of the brain that is affected and the exact disease that is causing dementia. Other symptoms can include disruption of speech, mood and personality.

Did you know that one of the other lesser known symptom of dementia is it affects your vision.  

Dementia can affect vision because both brain and the eyes contain nerves and dementia affects the nerves also.

Common causes of sight loss with dementia are:

  • Eye conditions e.g cataract, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
  • Health conditions e.g stroke and diabetes.
  • Normal ageing of the eye.
  • Dementia itself namely Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA).

Patients with dementia can have difficulty in vision due to the brain being affected but still have healthy eyes, patients with dementia suffer from perceiving what they see rather than how sharp the vision.

5 common visual defects that are identified with Alzheimer’s Disease :

  • Reduced ability to detect motion.
  • Decrease sensitivity to contrast in colour gradients and objects within their background.
  • Problems with depth perception such as judging distances.
  • Difficulty in detecting colours such as blue and purple.
  • Reduced peripheral vision (Reduced vision around the edges and sides of your sight when staring forward).

If you are a carer for someone with dementia do look out for the following signs :

  • Difficulty with reading and writing.
  • Problems with recognition of people.
  • Coping with varied bright and low light intensity.
  • Forgetful of objects and locations.
  • Bumping into obstacles.
  • Difficulty in reaching for things such as door handles.
  • Problems with their vision even with their glasses on.

Free Home Eye Test for Dementia Patients

If you are a dementia sufferer (or a carer of a dementia sufferer) it is imperative to have your eye tests on a regular basis this will allow us to monitor changes and provide the best quality care for their vision.  Do let your optician know what difficulties you are having.

Home Eyecare provides free home eye tests to housebound dementia sufferers who are over 60 years old.

Housebound dementia sufferers under 60 years old need to be on certain benefits to qualify for a free NHS home eye test.

Contact us today to book your home eye test.  You can call us on 0800 028 4355 to speak to our friendly staff.


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2 Responses to Dementia and Eye Problems

  1. Camille Leavold 21st January 2019 at 9:32 am #

    Another important aspect of dementia to be aware of. Assuring that eye tests are completed regularly can improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. This then increases the likelihood of them being able to remain in their own homes for longer with appropriate home care.

    • Omer 24th January 2019 at 4:48 pm #

      We agree with you.

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