Nearly 60% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s experience loss of visual capabilities. Alzheimer’s does not cause changes in the eye; instead, the brain is unable to correctly perceive visual information.
What kinds of vision problems are associated with Alzheimer’s?
- Motion. Studies suggest people with Alzheimer’s may lose the ability to accurately sense movement and following a moving object can become difficult. They view the world as a series of still frames or chopped segments rather than a moving picture.
- Depth. Persons with Alzheimer’s may experience depth perception problems. Three-dimensional objects may begin to appear flat or conversely, a shadow or dark rug may look like a hole or pit.
- Color. The ability to see contrast between colors diminishes with age. People with Alzheimer’s seem to experience a greater deficit, especially with colors in the blue-violet end of the color spectrum.
- Contrast. People with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty identifying contrast. For example, if a bathroom has the same color toilet as the floor and walls, the person may have difficulty finding the toilet.
Many of these problems present safety issues and add to the sense of confusion experienced by those with Alzheimer’s. For additional information, contact the Alzheimer patient’s primary care provider.
For the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Facts & Figures, go to: https://www.alz.org/facts/