As we age, our risk of cataracts can increase significantly. Accredited Nursing and their experienced team can assist with these challenges.
What Causes Cataracts
There are a variety of causes for the clouding of one or both of the lenses of the eye, everything from advanced diabetes, to disease, to serious eye injury, to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet lights. But one of the more common causes is simple deterioration of materials in your body – including parts of your eyes – as you get older.
The National Eye Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, reports that half the population of America that reaches age 80 either will have a cataract or cataracts, or have been treated for them in the past.
What Can Be Done About Cataracts
Some people accept cataracts as part of the normal aging process, and are fine with their vision going a little dimmer and growing a little less sharp than it used to be over the years, at least in one eye or maybe both. But for others, there are a variety of surgical options and even some lifestyle improvements that can help stabilize, maybe even reduce, the onset of cataracts.
In the Glendale area, there are several useful resources for those with cataracts or those who are at a higher risk for getting them in the future. Since cataracts sometimes take years to grow noticeable, any advice and explanations can be useful even earlier in life.
Depending on a cataract’s severity or how limiting one or two can be to a person’s personal or professional life, a provider may recommend surgery, medication, or even some lifestyle changes.
How Home Care Can Help
Sometimes, patients with cataracts may need other types of home health care besides optical care, such assistance in getting around their house or basic skills due to limited vision. Or they may need transportation if the cataract makes it unsafe to drive.
Once someone in the Glendale area has received cataract surgery, they also may need further health care assistance. Though their basic vision may have improved dramatically, they still may require help administering eye drops or other medicine, plus getting around safely while their eye or eyes heal.
Professionals say most patients who have undergone cataract removal should expect some initial blurring, swelling and redness immediately after surgery. There are some other more dangerous signs that could take place, such as higher levels of pain, unusual discharge or a fever, so a home health care professional or a caregiver may be able to spot these and recommend further attention.
If a person still is waiting for surgery or unsure if they need it, there are some things they or their caregivers can do around their home.
Rearrange your décor
Cataracts may narrow your area of vision so you may no longer see everything in front of you. This could cause safety hazards, such as running into furniture. But you can work with your caregiver to make sure you have clear paths through your home. Other ways to improve your living conditions can include brighter lights that can reduce the dimness and make your surroundings easier to distinguish; and checking floor surfaces. Is it easy to see patterns on carpet or tile? Is the floor too slippery? Are there too many bunches in the carpet or area rug that can cause you to trip?
Changing your viewing
TVs or computers can be adjusted for people who have problems seeing traditional screens. There are settings or projectors that magnify certain areas or make fonts or images larger. There are also special screens that can go over a monitor or screen that expand the image and reduce glare. Speech software can also help people who have a hard time seeing or using a keyboard. A caregiver can help you set these up especially if you’re someone who enjoys watching TV or using their computer.
Better conditions for your eye health
You and your caregivers can look through your home environment to look for items that could cause further irritation to your eyes if they’re already sensitive or you have cataracts growing. Smoking is a large irritant, but other things like chemicals or allergens in the air like pollen or smog can also aggravate already weakened eyes.
Some rapid changes in eye health, such as sudden blindness or blurring, may even be due to other changes and not have anything to do with the gradual deterioration from cataract.
But cataracts do have some similar symptoms. People who wonder if they may have cataracts may find that it’s more difficult to read than it used to be or begin to see double vision. Is night driving more of a challenge than it used to be? Are you more sensitive to glare from lights than you used to be?
Overall, keeping up on your eye health is critical especially if you know you’re already at risk for cataracts or are aware that you may have small ones that may be growing. This means finding an eye care professional in the Glendale area that is able to keep an eye on your optical health and adjust any prescriptions as needed and track growth of cataracts. A caregiver can also be vital in helping you monitor any changes as well.