Seniors are at a greater risk of developing eye diseases than many others, and cataracts are among the most common. In fact, some studies estimate that more than half of all elderly Americans are dealing with cataracts. While there is no cure for cataracts, many seniors manage to live safe, happy and successful lives despite the potential for blindness.
Family caregivers with loved ones that may have a recent diagnosis of cataracts should know what to expect as well as learn how they can help their aging relative. They can get a better idea of what is involved, hiring elderly care provider and even in preparing for cataract surgery. Here is a list of frequently asked questions about cataracts and seniors.
Q: What exactly are cataracts?
A: Within the eye is a clear lens that helps focus light on the retina. The nerves pick up on the light and send signals to the brain to interpret what it sees. Over time, that lens can become clouded with clumps of protein. A clouded lens makes things blurry and eventually the aging adult can no longer see clearly.
Q: Who is at risk for cataracts?
A: Age plays a big part in who is at risk for cataracts. Seniors over the age of 60 are most likely to develop them. Other risk factors include smoking, poor diet, alcohol abuse, other eye diseases, health issues like diabetes and a family history of eye problems.
Q: What are the symptoms of cataracts?
A: In the early stages, most seniors won’t even know that the cataracts are there. Over time, however, the symptoms worsen. Common symptoms include blurred vision, seeing double, fading colors, a halo around light sources, seeing double, sensitivity to light and lots of prescription changes for glasses. Over time, the cataracts grow more limiting, causing vision loss.
Q: What can seniors with cataracts expect?
A: At first, elderly adults can work with their doctor to care for the symptoms. Medicine can help with some blurring, as can a proper diet and special lenses that go into glasses that reduce glare. Eventually, however, the aging adult loses their vision. In that case, many families turn to elderly care providers to help with basic daily tasks like cleaning, cooking, dressing, grooming, driving and companionship. Seniors with cataracts cannot live independently, and often hire elderly care providers to assist with day-to-day living in their own home.
Q: Does cataract surgery help?
A: Many seniors are qualified to have cataract surgery. This is when an eye doctor removes the damaged natural lens and puts in a clear artificial one. Seniors who have the surgery usually report definite improvement in vision. While full vision may not be restored, there are many cases where it comes pretty close. Regardless, having surgery is something that the aging adult, family caregiver and eye doctor should decide on together.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in Redington Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.
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