Vascular Dementia & Poor Eyesight

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sandy25, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    54
    Does anyone have any experience of this. Dad is quite bad now and whats making it worse is that his eyes tend to be v.glazed and he stares a lot, at nothing in particular. He doesn't focus on objects and as a result needs help with drinks and food. He doesn't look at you when you talk to him. But sometimes quite randomly he will focus, but 80% of the time he doesn't.

    I'm worried that he might have something wrong with his eyes - or is this just a normal symptom of dementia?
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    My Jan who has mixed dementia, including vascular, is registered blind now.

    Her eyes are organically ok but the dementia has killed the neural connections that enable her to see. Muscle control has also gone so the eyes are no longer aligned.

    It does happen sometimes that sight is affected with vascular dementia.

    unfortunately
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    It might be, it might not. Nice and definitive I know (sorry).

    I do know that strokes (definitely major and possible minor) can cause someing called hemianopsia which is loss of half the visual field, because that happened to my mother. There is nothing actually wrong with the eyes - it is that the information isn't processed properly.

    The problem, of course, is that it is very difficult to get a accurate eye test done on someone with dementia. And of course even if you do, will it be possible to fix the problem?

    If you think it might be something to do with his eyes rather than the processing of the information, you might want to contact your local AS branch to see if they have recoomendations about optometrists who might have some experience in testing dementia sufferers.
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    very true! in Jan's case, impossible.

    although the assessment ward and Jan's home are on the same site as the hospital, the doctor had no idea about dementia at all. No tests were possible, just brief observation which was conclusive.
     
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    What can I add. Lionel sees, but does not register. Looks the opposite way to vocal stimulation, responds more to sound, touch than vision.

    Blind no, unable to 'see' yes. Makes no sense to me.
     
  6. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    My Mother suddenly developed Cataracts and they were operated on about 2 yrs before her death last Nov

    Her sight was sure sharp enough in June when I installed a new washing machine ............she complained it was whiter than the fridge it was next too !!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,885
    Kent
    My husband, even with catracts sees better than I do, but if he is looking for something and I try to direct him towards it, he cannot `see` it.
     
  8. dave b

    dave b Registered User

    Nov 21, 2006
    63
    staffs
    when i went away on holiday this year momn had a carer who stopped 24/7
    while i was away.she was concerned that mom couldn't see so so she took to an
    optician(in store firm) he said she had cateracts, refererd back to our gp, who asked for more info we went to our usual optician.very thougher
    no cats.felt it must be a short circuit between the eye & brain
    could be thats your dads problem
    dave x
     
  9. harvey

    harvey Registered User

    Aug 10, 2007
    71
    MIL has problems too. She used to be an avid reader and when she stopped reading we put this down to her bad eyesight. She had a cat op two years ago and we thought everything would be fine. Although the hospital told her the op was successful she said it had not worked and she felt it had made her eyesight worse. At the time we were unaware she was suffering from dementia and took her word for it. We then bought her some talking books which never came out of the wrappings. It was only after the demetia diagnosis that we started to put 2 & 2 together. She uses a strong magnifying glass to read when letters arrive. What has puzzled us is that she can see birds in the garden and is able to apply her mascara when we take her out. She flatly refuses to let us take her to the optician. I thought that perhaps she no longer has the concentration to absorb what she is reading and so does not bother. She does close one eye to peer at text through her magnifying glass.
     
  10. SteveS

    SteveS Registered User

    Jun 20, 2007
    41
    Altrincham, cheshire
    my experience is that Dad started to "glaze over" - the hospital reckoned he just found it hard to recognise people, as the disease progressed couldn't put names to faces or react to voices. He seemed to keep it all in his head and when nhe spoke it was about something going on in his mind - curiously a sequence of events that even we could make sense of.....:eek:
     
  11. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    54
    think I might still see if the care home can arrange for an appointment with the optician. as you all say though, it needs to be someone with dementia experience. He is so glazed, but then sometimes he does seem to be able to focus on you which is why it seems a bit random. but even the care home have mentioned an eye test would be worthwhile so will give that a go.

    it just makes it so difficult when he's drinking and can't see the cup right in front of him - ends up spilling it. he's going into his only world more and more now.:(
     
  12. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    :confused:
    I think that's what is going on with my Mum. She used to be an avid reader - books, 2 daily newspapers (including all the crosswords!). Now she doesn't even look at the papers unless I draw her attention to something, & even then it feels like she's only humouring me. She CAN still read if I ask her to read something out to me (like if I leave a note on the fridge about something, for instance) but doesn't seem to want to bother.
    However, she can still do better than me on the Countdown words. 'Go figure' as our US cousins would say.
     
  13. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi Lynne, good to know that mum can still beat you at Countdown.

    I used to get Lionel to make simple words on that program until about April of this year. Such a shame when ability goes (Don't think ability is right word somehow).

    Take care now, love
     
  14. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Sandy,

    Hope I'm not too late to pipe in:

    The Royal National Institute for the Blind offers a couple of leafltets on Dementia and sight loss and improving environments for people with dementia.

    Booklet: Dementia and sight loss in older people
    Details: This leaflet is aimed at anyone who supports a person with dementia and provides information and advice around issues of sight loss.
    Link: http://onlineshop.rnib.org.uk/display_item.asp?n=11&c=462&sc=33&id=263&it=2&l=3

    Booklet: Improving environments for people with dementia and sight loss
    Details: This leaflet is aimed at anyone who supports someone with dementia and provides information and advice on how to adapt the environment to assist someone with a sight problem.
    Link: http://onlineshop.rnib.org.uk/display_item.asp?n=11&c=462&sc=33&id=264&it=2&l=3

    The leaflets are only £1 and £1.25 and are full of helpful advice.

    Hope this helps
    Craig
     
  15. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    54
    Thanks Craig, just tried to purchase them but it doesn't seem to let you add them to the basket. Maybe they're not available anymore. Will keep trying though!

    Sandy
     
  16. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Thanks for letting me know Sandy.

    I've contacted them today and will let you know what is happening.
    Hopefully they have not discountinued the booklets. I have copies myself but will need permission to copy them.

    Dad has had a lot of problems with his eyes, even early to mid-stage. It is not helped by the fact that he won't wear glasses any more. Just keeps misplacing them or taking them off now.

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  17. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
  18. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    54
    Thanks Craig, theres still some good snippets of info in there though!

    Sandy
     
  19. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    #19 CraigC, Nov 9, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
    Hi Sandy,

    The RNIB have been great and I'm hoping to get permission to reproduce the leaflets which have unfortunately been discontinued. I just need to get some legal thing sorted hopefully.

    In the meantime they have given me a link to a document that may interest you are indeed anyone who has issues with severe site loss and dementia. It is and interesting find for me as it discusses the link with site loss hallucinations, both of which dad has experienced.

    It is from the Thomas Pocklington Trust who provide housing and support for people with sight loss.

    Dementia and serious sight loss
    http://pocklingtons.live.poptech.co...383-3C4FF30778F2_OP11DementiaFebruary2007.pdf

    If you right click on the link above a shortcut menu is displayed. Click on the 'Save Target As' option and you can save and keep a copy in case it ever disappears from the web like the last two documents did ;)

    It looks like the Thomas Pocklington Trust do a lot of good work. Here is the link to their main site:

    http://pocklingtons.live.poptech.coop/

    Hope this helps and I will let you know if I get permission to pass on the two documents that were referred to earlier in this thread.

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  20. sandy25

    sandy25 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2005
    54
    Hi Craig
    Think I've got round to looking at this a bit late! The links don't work anymore unfortunately. Did you get anywhere with teh RNIB publications?
    Thanks
    Sandy
     

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