As people get older, they may require cataract surgery. It gets very confusing for older people when suddenly they can't see properly anymore. If you're taking care of a relative who is experiencing vision change that is described as cloudiness in the eyes, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist, such as one at The Eye Center, to have tests done. Some of the symptoms of glaucoma, another eye condition, are similar to cataract symptoms. Learn about cataracts and treatment that will help your elderly relative obtain appropriate care.
Treatments Following Confirmation of Cataract Condition
Formation of early cataracts doesn't mean that immediate surgery is required. In fact, the ophthalmologist may recommend stronger eyeglasses to improve vision. The use of a magnifying glass for reading works well for some patients. You may even ensure that your family member uses stronger lighting at all times too. Medications are often prescribed so that you can help your elderly relative dilate his or her pupils.
Ophthalmologists generally give patients the option of deciding when cataracts are ready for removal. Your family member's cataracts may progress to the point where removal is necessary. In many cases, the condition is present for a long time before cataract intervention via surgery is needed, and the condition may take many years before it affects vision. So plenty of time is given for letting the ophthalmologist know when to schedule cataract removal.
Early Cataract Removal Improves Vision and Prevents Blindness
Newer techniques now make it much safer for your family member to undergo early cataract removal efficiently. The good news is that now early cataract removal actually improves vision in 95 percent of patients who undergo this type of surgery. Your relative could be one of the millions of Americans who benefit from not going blind by having early cataract intervention surgery.
When to Know Surgery Is Indicated
Ask your family member's eye doctor about the Snellen eye test that gauges 20/40 test results as the deciding factor for loss of vision that cannot be achieved by wearing corrective glasses. Surgery is also indicated when activities of daily living become extremely difficult to perform. To the degree that your relative risks accident or injury due to loss of vision, he or she should undergo cataract surgery.
Double Cataract Procedure Not Usually Recommended
Double cataract surgery that would mean replacement of lens in both eyes is not usually recommended, and that can be problematic for patients with extreme loss of vision in both eyes. Ophthalmologists generally recommend having the procedures done one at a time, but you can discuss this issue with your relative's eye doctor. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, and you will take home your relative on the same day the operation is performed. Both of you will be fully informed ahead of time about what to expect when this procedure is performed and about follow-up care thereafter.