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Clearer Vision: Understanding Cataracts

Oct 31, 2016 by Luke Ries

Cataracts

If you’ve ever had blurred vision before, you know just how frustrating it can be. Now, imagine that is your default vision and only way of viewing the world around you. Pretty scary, right? Unfortunately, this is the reality that many aging adults must face at some point, due to an eye disease known as cataracts.

Generally, a cataract is characterized as a clouding of the eye’s lens that prevents light from entering, which causes blurred or abnormal vision changes. It is also incredibly common among adults. In fact it’s reported that cataracts will affect more than half of the American population by the time they reach 80 years of age.

Risk Factors and Treatment

While age-related factors can play a part in the development of cataracts, there are also other circumstances that increase their likelihood, including diabetes, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, direct injuries to the eye, and chemical burns. If your senior loved ones feel that they are experiencing blurred vision of any kind, encourage them to schedule an eye examination. This will allow doctors to identify the best course of action to help treat cataracts.

If cataracts do not interfere with quality of life, it may only be necessary to change an eyeglass prescription, but in many cases, surgery is necessary to correct vision. Fortunately, with more than 2 million cataract procedures performed on a yearly basis, surgery is certainly a safe and viable option.

Preventive Measures

Despite how common they are, it’s important that your aging loved ones know that this isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Like many conditions, there are ways you can prevent cataracts from developing. In addition to preventing cataracts, the tips below can promote your loved ones’ physical and emotional well-being in several ways. Encourage them to do the following:
 

  • Stay active and eat a healthy diet (especially foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals). Consult a doctor, physician, or dietician before beginning an exercise program or dietary change of any kind
     
  • Provide extra protection for the eyes, especially if your line of work involves risk of exposure to harmful materials or chemicals
     
  • Avoid exposure to UV rays, both from the sun and artificial sources
     
  • Establish a plan to quit smoking
     

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

The professional caregiving team of Comfort Keepers in Racine can help your aging loved ones follow the tips above, but also with all of their specific in-home needs. From light housekeeping to mobility assistance, and everything in between, our goal is to see that your loved ones are able to live each day to its fullest.

For more information on how Comfort Keepers'  home caregivers can provide professional assistance for your aging loved ones, contact us here or call us at (262) 299-0320. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

References:

https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts

http://www.elderissues.com/library/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&art_id=80&CFID=211922&CFTOKEN=6027713

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