Home > Diagnosis, Vision problems > Visual Difficulties in Some Kinds of Dementias

Visual Difficulties in Some Kinds of Dementias

  1.  Reduction in number and accuracy of small eye movements (Used to track moving objects, to orient to new locations, to read.)
  2. Changes in color perception (loss of the blue, purple, green part of the color spectrum)
  3. Difficulty with figure-background contrast discrimination
  4. Depth and motion perception problems
  5. Reduced visual acuity (but not initially)
  6. Deficits in object and facial recognition
  7. Difficulty re-adjusting one’s spatial orientation when moving around (even in familiar environments).
  8. Difficulty driving when rapidly changing information needs to be analyzed and accurately responded to.
  9. Difficulty judging the height of the floor when the color changes. (Color illusions, figure-background and depth of field difficulties can make surfaces difficult to judge.)
  10. High-stepping over carpet rods or shadows, thinking they signify a change of level.
  11. Difficulty problem solving visual illusion effects. (For example, when going downstairs – determining how many steps there are and where the next one is; going upstairs is not usually a problem.)
  12. Resisting walking on shiny flooring because it looks wet or slippery.
  13. Walking on the darkest patterns (or shadows) of flooring to avoid falling.
  14. Misinterpreting reflections in mirrors, windows, or shiny surfaces. (Refusal to go into a toilet because reflections make them appear to be occupied; fear of the presence an “unknown person” who keeps disappearing.)
  15. Mistaking TV images for real people because they are brighter and more visible than a TV console located against a dark background.
  16. Inability to find a particular item even though the item is in front of a person and appears to be in their field of vision. (This can make it difficult to locate someone’s hand to be able to return a handshake.)
  17. Difficulty in locating people or objects bemuse of other distracting or competing visual information (such as patterned wallpaper).
  18. Difficulty in positioning oneself accurately to sit down in a chair, on a bed, on the toilet. (Difficulty estimating depth of field, especially if the objects are behind a person, out of view; some people make multiple checks but still have difficulty and may even try to straddle them from the front.  Note that such difficulty may be mistaken for incontinence.)
  19. Inability to find objects or places because of a lack of color contrast. (For example, not seeing that there is cauliflower and pasta on a white plate, or not seeing doors painted the same color as the walls.)
  20. Restlessness from visually over-stimulating environments (for example, too many shiny Christmas decorations that can mask important orientation cues)

(This information was found at http://www.alzheimers.org.uk)

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