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Prevent Blindness with Cataract Tests and Proper In Home Care

Aug 14, 2018 by The Crafty Caregiver

When someone you love has blurred or double vision, is over 40 years old and complains that their eyeglasses aren’t helping enough, it’s probably time for a cataract exam. Cataracts are a common problem for older adults, and if they’re not treated in time, the person’s vision can continually worsen towards blindness. It’s such a common occurrence that over 24 million people are estimated to be suffering from cataracts, but cataract testing and proper medical attention can prevent the progression leading towards blindness. 

 

A cataract sometimes even appears to others who notice that the eyes are looking cloudy or discolored. Cataracts create a clouding of the eye lens, which then blocks light from entering the eye, and negatively affects vision. Cataracts aren’t painful, yet they can create major problems for older adults who want to remain living independently. Cataracts can present problems with driving at night, and sometimes lights will appear to have a halo around them, causing distortion. These problems can’t be corrected with eyeglass prescriptions, but surgery can be usually be performed. 

 

While we may not understand all causes of cataracts besides normal aging, there are some things that may contribute to additional risk:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Hereditary factors
  • Exposure to UV rays
  • Using steroids for extended periods of time
  • Eye injury, specific diseases, or inflammation
  • Events that occur prior to birth, such as an illness the mother has when pregnant

 

Seniors can decrease their inherent risk of cataracts by wearing glasses with UV-protection on sunny days, stopping smoking, consuming more leafy green vegetables, and getting plenty of exercise. Annual eye exams allow doctors to identify cataracts early. This way, timely measures will be taken to protect vision.

 

Cataract surgery is so common in the U.S. that more than 2 million surgeries are performed annually. With a success rate higher than 95%, the surgery isn’t that frightening. Initial recovery is typically only a few days, but it can be a month for a full recovery and the family might be worried about their older loved one during this time so it’s a great time to consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist with activities of daily living. A caregiver can offer the patient some relief, helping with housekeeping chores and meal preparation. Caregivers might also provide rides for the senior to their follow-up doctor appointments.

 

Ready for more information on how we can help your loved one? Contact us for info on our in-home care and how it can be helpful to a loved one after cataract surgery.

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