Living with cataracts can be difficult for both the individual and their loved ones, but understanding more about cataracts and how they can be treated is the first step to getting more control over the condition.
Read on to explore the facts about cataracts.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes increasingly opaque, causing cloudy or blurred vision. Usually, the symptoms develop gradually over time, worsening as it goes on. The National Eye Institute estimates that more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have undergone surgery for cataracts by the age of 80.
What are the early signs of cataracts?
Early diagnosis is not only helpful for treating the condition itself, but it can also make sure the individual is safe during day-to-day life. Cataracts can make it difficult to drive or move around safely, as the vision is obscured. That’s why it’s important to look out for the early signs of cataracts.
- Blurred or misty eyesight
- Finding lights too bright or glaring
- Finding it harder to see in low light
- Colours looking faded
If you feel like your vision or the vision of a loved one is slowly fading, it’s worth seeking expert advice from a doctor or optician.
What sort of treatment is available for cataracts?
When diagnosed with cataracts, many people wonder: “Do cataracts cause blindness?” That really depends on the individual. For some people, near-total blindness is an unfortunate effect of cataracts, but for others, it won’t develop that far or surgery can help to prevent it.
Caring for someone with cataracts usually depends on managing the damage to their eyesight in a number of ways.
It might include:
- Organizing transportation
- Driving them around
- Administering eye drops or other medication
- Taking care of household tasks that are difficult with impaired vision such as shopping for groceries, navigating on a computer, and cleaning the house.
- Monitoring sight loss as time goes on
It’s important that the individual stays as happy and healthy as possible and continues to receive treatment for cataracts. As a progressive condition, what happens if cataracts are left untreated is that still more vision damage will occur. With the right treatment, the progress can be slowed down, so as to have as small an impact on the quality of life as possible.