Cataracts are a common eye condition, especially in older adults. The National Eye Institute reports that by the age of 80, about 70 percent of Caucasians have cataracts. Other races are less affected, but the statistics are still concerning. 53 percent of African Americans will develop cataracts by age 80 and 61 percent of Hispanic Americans. If your older relative has cataracts or you’re concerned about their eye health, June is an excellent time to learn more about cataracts because it’s Cataract Awareness Month.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Normally, the lens is clear and allows light to pass through easily. A cataract blocks light. It’s a little like trying to see through a foggy window.
When cataracts first begin to form, they usually aren’t noticeable. As the cataract grows, it begins to affect vision. Colors become less bright and objects are blurry. A person with cataracts might also:
- Have double vision.
- Be sensitive to bright lights.
- Have trouble reading or need bright light to read.
- Experience difficulty seeing at night.
In the beginning, eyeglasses and brighter lighting can make seeing easier. However, if cataracts get bad enough that these steps don’t work, surgery may be needed.
Certain things make people more likely to develop cataracts, such as:
- Spending a lot of time in the sun.
- High blood pressure.
- Old eye injuries or inflammation.
- Excessive alcohol use.
How Cataracts Form.
Cataracts are the result of changes in the tissues of the lens due to aging or because of an eye injury. They can also be caused by:
- Genetic disorders.
- Other eye conditions.
- Having had eye surgery in the past.
- Certain conditions, like diabetes.
- Long-term use of steroid medications.
The eye’s lens is comprised of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a specific way so that the lens remains clear. Cataracts happen when the proteins clump together, causing cloudiness in the lens. Usually, cataracts develop in both eyes at the same time, but they may not develop easily. As a result, the vision in one eye can be worse than in the other.
If your aging relative is having vision problems due to cataracts or other eye problems, home care can assist them to live better and more safely at home. Home care providers can read to the older adult, helping them with mail, email, newspapers, and reading for pleasure. Home care providers can also perform tasks that might be unsafe with compromised vision, like cutting vegetables.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Turlock, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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