Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Eyesight and perception in dementia





Eyesight and perception cause many problems to people with dementia and neurological illnesses and this in turn causes other problems like stress and agitation.

Early on in my illness I realised that I had problems on certain days judging traffic speed and distances, and this got me close to being run over, because the vehicles were right up to me before I realised.

This came to a head just the other day, when I went out to meet my wife at the shops, and was very close to being hit of two occasions, because I could not process the traffic speed and distance.

This is very stressful, because the drivers think you have done it on purpose, and you can be abused by other pedestrians standing watching.

I know now that it's not just my eyesight, but the fact that my brain is getting much slower at times in processing the information. 

But just how many opticians etc understand this, and simply treat your eyesight, which in turn can be hap hazard. 

The number of times I have had my eyes tested, knowing full well that they can be rubbish, yet nothing has been found, because they look normal on the tests.

I knew before that I had problems with sometimes blurred or double vision, stemming back to a head injury, but these days my perception has got so bad that if we are out together, my wife hangs on to my arms, for safety reasons. 

I confess that I do not like people hanging on to me now, but I have to accept that I am not as safe as I used to be.

There are also days when I see people walking towards me, but cannot see their face, to see if I recognise them, and this I find distressing, but I guess it's all part of the shrinking brain process. 

Most of our neighbours accept that I have problems and make allowances, for this, but some look at you as if you are not there. This has more of an effect on my wife at times, because I do not always notice what is going on around me.

There are also problems working out, if what you are looking at are completely real, or just the brain playing up. 

Things like marble floors cause problems too, as we can sometimes see things which are not there or are not real. 

Getting onto escalators can be hazardous some days, because it's finding the right moment to get on and off, these things, without causing extra problems for yourself or others. It also stops you looking silly if you miss your step

I find escalators to be nasty these days, because if you get too close to the step as the machine moves, the stair in front pushes you back and you lose your balance.

Large department stores give me a headache, as they are full of mirrors, have very shiny floors and sometimes ceilings which are mirrored. 
This then causes problems working where you are going with, the reflections of other people all around you, event though they are simply reflections

The manikins used in shops these days are intimidating, as they seem to be so tall, and over powering.

I know now that it's just my brain playing tricks, but it does not help at the time. 

It would be lovely if the brain could have a new processor fitted, like modern day computers, but that's a long way off if it ever happens.




Elderly and driving

After the news in the media during the last few days, I think it's time that elderly people had their eyes etc tested on a regular basis...