Cataracts are a common condition related to aging. They form when proteins gather on the lens of the eye, making vision cloudy and dramatically impacting quality of life for aging adults. Cataract surgery is the process in which cataracts are removed from the eye, restoring vision for seniors. Surgery is a big deal and personal care at home can help seniors before and afterward.
Cataracts and Cataract Surgery
People of any age can start to develop cataracts, but they tend to happen with age. They form gradually, until vision becomes blurry and seniors experience other symptoms like trouble seeing in low light or sensitivity to light. As cataracts become worse, they obstruct vision even more. Cataract surgery is extremely common and is usually an outpatient surgery. During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens. Seniors with cataracts in both eyes typically have surgery one eye at a time, allowing for healing in between surgeries.
Before the Cataract Surgery
Seniors are often surprised that they need to do some preparatory work before cataract surgery. There are multiple eye exams, but there are other challenges, too. Getting to eye appointments safely may be difficult for patients with severe cataracts if they are no longer able to drive on their own, so having home care providers available to help with transportation is essential. Some seniors may also need to take prescription eye drops before their surgery.
During the Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery itself is typically a quick and painless procedure. Because it’s an outpatient procedure, it’s performed under local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Seniors do need to have someone who can drive them to and from the surgery, and personal care at home can help with this. On the day of surgery, it’s a good idea for seniors to make time to rest.
Recovering from Cataract Surgery
Personal care at home can be incredibly helpful for seniors after cataract surgery. Seniors may need to take it easy, resting as much as possible. They may experience some discomfort, including sensitivity to light, right after surgery. Personal care at home can help seniors remember to take their prescribed eye drops when necessary and can also watch for signs of complications.
Following Up and Protecting the Eyes
After cataract surgery, it’s important for seniors to protect their eyes, avoiding eye strain as much as possible, and protecting their eyes. Making it to follow-up appointments is also important, and caregivers can make that easier for seniors to do safely. If seniors do notice issues like excessive or increased pain or signs of infection, caregivers can help them to get additional medical support.
Cataract surgery can dramatically improve quality of life for aging adults who are battling cataracts. Having as much information as possible about what to expect can help seniors and family caregivers to feel more comfortable about what’s going to happen. It also helps to line up help from personal care at home to make healing even easier on seniors after cataract surgery.