Eyes could be key to early dementia diagnosis

Eyes could be key to early dementia diagnosis

It’s widely accepted that an early diagnosis is key to tackling dementia, but once the most obvious symptoms have appeared it’s too late. Now, scientists believe that a clue linked to vision could be among the earliest telltale signs.

If you notice that yourself or a loved one is struggling to recognise colours, it’s time to seek a medical opinion. Alzheimers.net revealed that not being able to differentiate colours or contrasts should not be ignored.

Another giveaway is the inability to judge distances, which is often highlighted when an individual is driving or reading. These vision problems may seem subtle, but they might be the first warning signs and could mean treatment to slow down dementia is more effective.

The website highlighted the fact that Alzheimer’s is not an inevitable part of ageing and while there is currently no cure, there are things that can be done to minimise its impact. Lifestyle changes and early diagnosis are among them.

It added: “Although Alzheimer’s impacts everyone differently, the disease does show some early signs and symptoms. Vision problems - having difficulty identifying colours or contrasts,  judging distance or reading. Poor driving may result.

“People on the onset of Alzheimer’s may experience just one early warning sign or several — and signs will show in varying degrees. If you’re concerned that a loved one’s memory loss may be serious, consult with a doctor.”

Among the other symptoms that people tend to be more aware of is memory loss, with cases of forgetting dates a common first sign. Often, familiar tasks become more troublesome, with some people no longer being able to remember how to cook, for example.

Around 850,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most common form. A large number of research institutions are exploring the condition, its symptoms and potential treatments in a bid to reverse the growth in diagnoses.

Until a cure is found then early diagnosis represents the best opportunity to slow its progress.