At Western Stairlifts, it’s our pride to offer a huge range of products for people who may need assistance with mobility and related themes in their homes. From our high-quality stair lifts and lift chairs to mobility scooters, elevators, access ramps and many other options, we help ensure that anyone with movement needs sees them filled in simple, hassle-free ways.
Seniors are among the groups that most benefit from our products in their homes, and there may be a few different conditions or issues that lead to mobility issues for those at an advanced age. One such concern: Distorted depth perception, which can impact people in several ways that may relate to their ability to move and get around properly. Here are some basics on this condition and how to spot it if you’re the loved one or caregiver of someone getting up there in years, plus some solutions for helping those with distorted depth perception — including how some of our products can help.
Distorted Depth Perception Basics
As we noted above, distorted depth perception is a condition that becomes more common in people as they age. It’s caused by problems with the eyes and the brain’s ability to process what they see, which can lead to difficulty judging distances accurately. This can impact everything from simple movements like walking or reaching for something to more complex tasks, like driving or crossing a street.
People with distorted depth perception are at higher risk for falls and accidents, so it’s important that if you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, you get help. A doctor may be able to prescribe glasses or medication to help with the condition, and there are also exercises that can help improve depth perception. In many cases, however, people will need some additional assistance in their homes to make sure they can move around properly — more on this in a bit.
Signs of Distorted Depth Perception
If you’re the loved one or caregiver for any senior, one of your important tasks will be to look for signs of health issues — including signs of distorted depth perception. Some of these signs may include:
- Poor spatial awareness or clumsiness: This can manifest as bumping into things or people, not knowing where you are in relation to your surroundings, or generally feeling unsteady on your feet.
- Difficulty judging distances: This can show up as difficulty crossing streets or sidewalks, reaching for things, or even cooking or cleaning because you’re not sure how close something is.
- Trouble watching fast-moving things on TV: This can include sports, action movies, or anything with a lot of movement.
- Frequent falls: Falls are one of the biggest dangers for seniors with distorted depth perception, as they can often lead to serious injury.
- Sudden inability to read out loud: Another sign that something may be wrong with depth perception is when someone has difficulty reading aloud as they usually would.
If you spot any of these signs in your loved one, and especially if multiple signs are present, it’s important to get them help.
Causes of Losses in Depth Perception
For your information, here are a few of the most common causes of this loss of depth perception with age in some people:
- Strabismus: This condition, also known as crossed eyes, can cause the eyes to not focus properly on an object.
- Eye trauma: A previous injury to the eye can impact depth perception.
- Nerve issues: Damage to the nerves that send messages from the eyes to the brain can lead to depth perception problems.
- Amblyopia: This is a condition where the brain favors one eye over the other, causing problems with depth perception.
- Cataracts: Clouding of the lens in the eye can impact depth perception.
These specific factors combine with the simple realities of aging, which can also impact depth perception, to create the perfect storm for this condition.
Ways to Combat Depth Perception Issues
In some cases, those who deal with distorted depth perception may be able to utilize specific eye products that help. There are certain specialty glasses out there that, while they won’t entirely correct depth perception issues, will make them easier for people to deal with.
However, as there is no “cure” for distorted depth perception, much of the approach to dealing with it is helping the person who suffers from it to be more comfortable in their daily life. Some ways of doing so include:
- Mobility assist products: This is one area where our team comes in handy in major ways. We offer products like stair lifts, elevators, and ramps to help those with mobility issues get around their homes more easily. Those with depth perception issues will often utilize our access ramps, for instance, which have a low incline and are great for getting from one place to another without worrying about falling.
- Improved lighting: In addition to consider mobility products like ours, lighting is another huge consideration for those with depth perception issues. Proper lighting can help to brighten up an area and give you a better sense of the space around you. This is why we always recommend having plenty of light in any room, especially if someone in that room is dealing with depth perception issues.
- Vision therapy: In other situations, vision therapy may be recommended as a way to help someone improve their depth perception. This therapy can take many forms, such as eye patches, special lenses, or computer exercises that work to improve the brain’s ability to process visual information.
- Making small adjustments: Often, those with distorted depth perception will have to make some small modifications to how they do things in order to make life a bit easier. This may mean sitting closer to the TV, avoiding stairs whenever possible, or taking more time to do tasks that used to be done quickly.
Depth perception is an essential part of our everyday lives, and when it’s distorted, it can lead to major issues. If you or a loved one are struggling with depth perception, our team at Western Stairlifts is here to help with products and advice that can make life a bit easier. Contact us today for more information on how we’ll assist you.