According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 24 million people in the United States aged 40 and over have been affected by cataracts. An even more startling statistic is that around half of all Americans who are 75 or older develop cataracts. If you or an elderly care provider notice that your parent has begun to have difficulty seeing, it may be wise to make an appointment with an eye doctor to have your parent examined for cataracts.
What Happens When a Person Has Cataracts?
The lens of your eye is normally clear so that you can see through it. When a person develops a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy because of a buildup of protein in the lens. The clouded lens makes it hard for a person to see because it’s kind of like having to look through a foggy window. When cataracts first begin to develop, people can sometimes cope by using brighter lighting or wearing glasses. However, cataracts can become bad enough that it is hard to do normal daily activities, like driving or reading.
What Causes Cataracts?
There are a few different kinds of cataracts, so what causes them depends on the type of cataract. Cataracts can be age-related, meaning that they develop as a person gets older. They can also be caused by an injury to the eye. Some diseases, like diabetes, can cause cataracts. These kinds of cataracts are called secondary cataracts because they are a symptom of another condition. Doctors believe that some lifestyle choices can make a person more susceptible to cataracts, such as smoking, excessive drinking, and exposure to air pollution. Experts recommend that people over the age of 50 see an eye doctor yearly so that vision problems, including cataracts, can be addressed promptly.
What Are the Symptoms?
Because cataracts form slowly, they are usually unnoticeable in the beginning. As they worsen, symptoms may include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Trouble seeing objects at a distance.
- Being bothered by glare.
- Problems with corrective lenses not working as well as they did.
- A change in the way colors are seen.
- Seeing double.
- Difficulty with night driving.
Can an Elderly Care Provider Help a Person with Cataracts?
If your parent has vision problems due to cataracts, hiring an elderly care provider through an agency could be very helpful. An elderly care provider can assist your parent with many of the daily tasks that can become difficult with poor vision. They can help open and read mail, read books and newspapers aloud, perform housekeeping tasks, cook meals, and drive the senior to appointments, social engagements, and to go shopping.
Have questions about elderly care in Maui, HI? Contact the caring staff at All Care Hawaii today. Call Oahu (808) 206-8409 or Maui (808) 664-3853. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
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