Dementia symptoms: Two issues involving vision indicating you may be in the early stages

Husband calls for change to law after wife’s dementia diagnosis

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Dementia is a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia although dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal ageing. Experiencing these two visual problems could be early warning signs.

While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia.

One of the common signs of dementia is sight loss.

The Alzheimer’s society said: “The symptoms of sight loss can be similar to some of the early signs of dementia.

“Dementia and sight loss are both more common as you get older. There are many causes of sight loss in people with dementia. Having eye conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration is common with dementia.

“People with dementia can also have visual difficulties because the dementia affects the parts of their brain that handle visual information coming from the eyes.

“This means they will have visual problems but have healthy eyes.”

Some people with worsening vision start to see things that aren’t there (visual hallucinations) because of their deteriorating sight and not from any other condition, such as dementia, said the Alzheimer’s Society.

The health site continued: “Visual hallucinations are usually caused by damage to the brain.

“They are more common in people with dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia.

“People with Alzheimer’s disease can also have hallucinations.”

Dementia causes a variety of changes in the brain, including how the eyes see and how the brain processes the information the eyes bring in.

People suffering with dementia behave in strange ways and those around may assume they’re hallucinating.

Hallucination is another possible symptom, but the behaviour could also be explained by changes in their vision.

Other early warning signs of dementia include:

  • Forgetting new information such as important dates, events
  • Performing familiar tasks takes longer, or cannot be completed without mistakes
  • Difficulty with where they are in time or place
  • Spatial relationships and visual images
  • Current problems with words when speaking or writing
  • Misplace items and no longer have the capability to retrace their footsteps
  • Changes in judgment or in making decisions
  • Withdrawing from hobbies, work projects, and social activities
  • Changes in mood or personality

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