My 80 year old mom is having vision issues associated with her dementia. Is a prescription adjustment even possible? - AgingCare.com

My 80 year old mom is having vision issues associated with her dementia. Is a prescription adjustment even possible?

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My mom has dementia and we as a family have known for a while and my dad has just accepted and wants to get her the best treatment possible. She is having the vision related symptoms of dementia and he wants to take her to an ophthalmologist to see if she needs a prescription adjustment. Is this even possible? From the articles I have read, the vision issue is related to the brain disease so I am not sure that any part of it can be remedied? Help, suggestions please.

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Well, you can have both vision problems AND dementia, for her quality of life it is worth investigating whether she has something that can be treated.
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Reply to cwillie
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It's quite possible there's nothing can be done, but it never hurts to have her eyes checked in case something else has occurred that can be fixed or at least tracked. I took Mom to the eye doc twice last year because it was obvious she was having great difficulty seeing. Her eyes--years ago she had cataract surgery--were about 20/30, there were no problems because of her diabetes, and it is her brain causing her difficulty. It can't be helped, but we know what's happening.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Jbahome, if your mom has cataract this is my message to you. My mom was 90yo with dementia when she had cataract surgery in her left eye! It took me three and half years to find the right eye doctor. My mom's sight was so bad, my mom could no longer feed herself, because she couldn't see the food on her plate. I found a doctor who I consider to be an Angel! Dr. Stephen Updegraff and his team are angels. The Updegraff team caters to the elderly! They even have an employee that lifted my mom out of the wheelchair and place her in the examining chair because she did not walk. My mom was a trooper during the entire process and shared with me she is ready for surgery on her right.  However, I am the one that is dragging my feet. It's very hard work for me alone to prep my mom for surgery (e.g., no food after 12midnight, and surgery is at 11am. back at the doctors by 7:00am for follow up surgery. Aftercare maintenance and so on and so on as well as all of my other household responsibilities.)  However, when I get the strength to deal with the second surgery on my own it is back to the doc. Thus, the only reason I am doing the surgery is to insure her a better quality of life as she ages. If my mom, can withstand the work that goes into cataract surgery, the least I can do is help my mom. Btw, the minute my mom recovered from the surgery the issue of dementia improved a little because she gained back one of her seven senses that was temporarily lost. She gained back part of her sight! Now she enjoys watching TV again and setting at the window watching birds and butterflies.

Jbahome, don’t give up. Do your research. Find at doctor that will be a good fit for you and your mom.  
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Reply to PLF817
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Never give up. My husband has vision loss that can't be cured, (not due to his dementia), and I still took him for a test in the hopes that he could have even a small improvement. Unfortunately no but at least we tried.
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Reply to tperri123
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We tried to have mom's prescription for her glasses updated and she couldn't answer the questions that they ask - You know the ones where you say "better or worse". We just ended up leaving. Just be prepared that your mom might not be able to respond in the way that is needed.
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Reply to Jessica40
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Definitely see the eye doctor. When Mom had shingles on her face/eye last fall we took her to her specialist to make sure the treatments were appropriate. She could read the vision chart then. But a month or so after I noticed her vision getting “weird". We attributed it to her dementia. At her recent eye exam at the NH facility, the doctor said she’d had an optic nerve stroke and couldn’t see much at all from that eye. So now the staff knows how to treat her as a resident with near blindness. I think it’s good to know. She also was told to wear her glasses even though they dont help her vision, it protects her eyes from things like straws etc.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Most definitely have her eyes examined. I would highly recommend using an opthamologist, not just a regular eye doctor or optometrist. There are MANY reasons for having vision issues/loss (just to mention a few: macular degeneration, retinal detachment.) Some of these can be corrected and/or treated to prevent/slow down deterioration. Our mother developed macular degeneration before dementia. During a recent treatment, the doctor at that time asked if it was reasonable to continue. My response was YES. She has short-term memory loss, hearing loss and is slowly progressing down memory lane, BUT she does like to read. She may not remember what she has read, but loss of eyesight would be devastating. Personally I have not heard of vision loss due to dementia, but I certainly don't know everything!!

I would, again, highly recommend getting expert testing done. If this has nothing to do with dementia, it might be treatable.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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My Mom lost sight in her left eye. There were test the eye doctor did to rule out stroke. Since tests showed stroke wasn't the problem, her neurologist said it was the Dementia. Since she had cataract surgery glasses weren't needed eyes don't change.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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there is a video on youtube called Alive Inside. It is amazing and especially for A&D sufferers. Consider the music right before the visit where questions can be answered... Trust me, just watch it please. Best of Luck
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Reply to commutergirl
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Hi. Just want to mention that a condition called Charles Bonnet Syndrome, can be associated with people who have visual problems, eg macular degeneration, etc. I realise that with diagnosis of dementia before these problems, this information may not be relevant. However, I believe it is worth mentioning.
Charles Bonnet Syndrome -
This creates "hallucinations". which can be diagnosed as dementia.
Charles Bonnet syndrome. - It is worth looking this up. My father was heavily medicated for "hallucinations" and misdiagnosed with dementia. Once I had realised what was happening and helped him try to understand (it took quite a long time). and got him off medication immediately, which was causing him to go into a vegetative state, he finally lost the "hallucinations" and life became manageable again.
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Reply to Mervyn
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