Keeping Connected

The Essential Guide to Keeping the Caregiver Informed

The Role of the Caregiver

Spring time has arrived! As the bitter cold days seem to be disappearing, the sun is beginning to shine a little brighter and the lovely birds are starting to sing. We are hoping everyone enjoys the beautiful weather! Although this may be a difficult time period, the role of the caregiver is essentially one of the most important factors in providing an individual with the possibility related to a comfortable lifestyle. Whether the caregiver is assigned through personal or professional consideration, the endurance of learning and maintaining new responsibilities can often be challenging. While the process of providing care will typically be suppressed with stressful, time-consuming, and overwhelming events, the experience can represent extreme reward as well (Burns, Kendall & Pompon, 2015). In recognition of visual impairment, one may observe that the gift of sight is truly one of the greatest gifts that an individual can be given. Unfortunately, under difficult circumstances, the gift of sight can be altered or even taken away completely from an individual's life. In providing care for an individual who has been given the diagnosis related to a vision disorder, specific tasks including: bathing, meal preparation, hygiene upkeep, medicine administration, and additional support will be required (Burns, Kendall & Pompon, 2015).

Patient Status: Diagnosis of Presbyopia

In regards to the patient, the caregiver should be informed of the potential affected areas to help one remain connected to the patient. Under careful examination, the diagnosis of Presbyopia can be extremely challenging to face alone. Ultimately, Presbyopia is related to a eye condition that represents the loss of one's ability to focus on objects that are relatively close to the eye (Akhtar, Currie & Salvi, 2006). Often, the diagnosis of Presbyopia will begin being recognized around the age of 40 and will continuously worsen until the age of 65. In addition, the condition is associated with the loss of flexibility and elasticity located in the lens of the visual system. As a result, the lens becomes unable to change necessary shapes and thus constricts the ability to focus on close images. Furthermore, an individual will be suppressed with specific symptoms including blurred vision at normal distances, eyestrain, headaches, or necessity of holding items further away to make letters cleared (Akhtar, Currie & Salvi, 2006). Lastly, diagnosis will typically be expressed through a dilated eye exam typically affiliated with a Snellten eye chart utilized to identify the normal functioning of the visual system.


Caring for an individual facing Presbyopia or any type of visual impairment will be followed by some abrupt hardships faced by the individual and family involved. As the individual is not only handling the new diagnosis, they are also faced with the idea that certain images are not as clear as they once were to them. Unlike most conditions, the loss of eye sight is amongst one of the most challenging events for an individual to handle and process throughout the lifespan. With the essential help of the caregiver, the individual will learn to adapt to their new life alterations and the treatment options available to them.

Functioning of the Visual System

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In consideration of the normal visual system, specific organs are essential to the way an individual is able to visually see the world they may live in. Specifically, the cornea and the lens of the eye are both critical to ensuring that the eye remains with the presentation of normal vision. As the cornea is noticed as the clear window on the front of the eye, the lens is represented as the transparent structure inside of the eye (Akhtar, Currie & Salvi, 2006). As light enters the eye it is focused by the cornea and then the lens so that the image appears clearly on the retina. The retina then is able to transmit these images where they can be processed in the brain. As this image will be viewed as a normal image for 20/20 vision, the diagnosis of presbyopia will represent specific altercations in the way to visual system appears. As an individual ages, the important contributor recognized as the lens continues to grow in size. As the lens continues to grow, the requirement for enzymes or chemical reactor substances increases to be able to support the growing tissue of the eye (Cole, 2016). Unfortunately, as an individual ages, the lens often loose the specific organelles within the cells needed to produce enzymes (Cole, 2016). While this occurs, the lens will begin to become stiff and lose flexibility, thus making it difficult for the lens to thicken or round up when focusing on the objects that are near to the individual's eye. In turn, the diagnosis of presbyopia will often occur.

Perception of Images

As an individual is given eyes to see with, ears to hear with, hands to feel with, mouths to taste with, and noses to allow for smell, it is essential to understand how these specific senses work through an individual's body. As the human body response to each of these sensations, it reacts through a term recognized as perception. Perception refers to the interpretation of the incoming information or stimuli entering each of the potential organs (eyes, ears, hands, mouths, noses) (Goldstein, 2014). Regarding the specifics related to visual perception, one can observe that visual perception will refer to the proper ability to interpret specific stimuli that is contained through visible light (Goldstein, 2014). The process of visual sight begins when the cornea and lens focus an image on a membrane in the back of the eye called the retina. Furthermore, the lens will focus light on the photoreceptive cells of the retina called rods and cones which detect specific photons of light. As the rods and cones detect the light, specific neural impulses are formulated and sent to the central ganglia in the brain (Goldstein, 2014). Perception will then take place as the visual association cortex identifies and allows for the brain to identify the specifics of what the visual image is viewing. Often the Gestalt approach or Gestalt theory will often be focused upon when considering the ability to perceive objects and images. According tot he theory, there are eight specific factors that determine the way the visual system will group specific patterns and elements including: proximity, similarity, closure, symmetry, common fate, continuity, good gestalt, and past experience. Each of these areas are important to consider when understanding the idea of perception of the visual system (Goldstein, 2014).

Treatment Options

References

Akhtar, S., Currie, Z., & Salvi, S.M. (2006 September). Ageing changes in the eye. Postgraduate Medical Journal 82(971), 581-587. doi: 10.1136/pgmj.2005.0.40857


Burns, M., Kendall, D., & Pompon, R.H. (2015). On the job make it work: Counseling the caregiver. ASHA Leader 20(7), 30-32


Cole, J. (2016 Feb 15). A closer look at presbyopia correction: Better corrective lenses and a multitude of surgical approaches give your presbyopic patients more options than ever before. Optometry 153(2), 54-59.


Goldstein, E.B. (2014). Sensation and perception (9th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.