Even with the evolutionary technologies of the 21st century, there are many diseases to which complete cure is awaited. One of many such diseases is Alzheimer’s. More than 40 million people around the globe are suffering from this incurable disease. Dementia is considered as one of the most common causes of Alzheimer. Many research and development teams are at a constant effort to find a cure, but the solution is still a longshot.
Early signs of Alzheimer can be picked up by an annual eye, an early start of treatment will help the patient, family members, and the caregivers. Scientists claim that it may become possible with a simple eye check up to screen patients with Alzheimer’s eyes.
Alzheimer’s causing effect on eyesight
Scientists say that Alzheimer’s can be detected even before the symptoms surface, by sight and smelling sense. In case of sight, the start of Alzheimer’s is seen when the retinal nerve that comes out of the brain gets narrower. Our eyes are connected to our brain through nerves which help them in vision.
One of the most initial signs of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain. They start to develop fifteen to twenty years before the onset of Alzheimer’s. A lot of research has been conducted on the thickness of the retina and has been concluded that the patients with memory loss have thinner retina as compared to those without memory problem.
Such conditions can lead to blurry vision at the very beginning stage which creates trouble in sight, and you see hazy or out of focus. In the case of smelling sense, researchers believe that the smell centers of the brain are amongst the first that shows changes because of toxic beta-amyloid which causes loss of smell. This can be one of the defects that can help us in the early detection of Alzheimer’s.
The four significant visual deficits that an Alzheimer’s patient experience
A patient can wrongly perceive the following four areas of visual deficiency with an Alzheimer affected brain:
1. Unable to detect motion
In this, the patients are incapable of detecting motion. They see the world as still photos instead of an everyday continuous phenomenon. The ongoing day-to-day process of life becomes small parts captured. The patient is unable to concentrate and feels lost even around the close ones. While traveling or watching television, they become uncomfortable and restless because of their incompetence. Any activity in fast motion becomes a challenge for them.
2. Unable to analyze the depth
In this, the patients lose control over the depth perception. They have trouble in acknowledging the distance between objects or how far is the object. This may cause serious problems in the circumstances like a glass of water kept on top of a glass table or fishes in a transparent aquarium. They also face problem in two dimensional or three-dimensional objects. For instance, they would not be able to differentiate clearly a flat object on the flat surface on a table.
3. The loss in Peripheral Vision
Here, patients lose the ability to see around the periphery of their vision. It becomes hard for them to see 12-inch field vision where the patients cannot see everything either at the top, on the bottom, or the sides of the vision.
4. Loss of capability to recognize colors
In this, the patients cannot differentiate between similar colors. It becomes troublesome for them to go through daily activities if the colors of the objects surrounding them are not in drastically different colors. For instance, if the plate of food is white, the caregiver can serve it in a grey table or give them tea in a white cup. They cannot identify objects with a similar tone of color.
Now, caregivers must take their loved ones with Alzheimer’s regularly for an eye checkup and be sure that they are healthy and fit. With regular eye check-up, we can also detect early signs of Alzheimer’s and start the treatment without any delay.