Owners' Blog

Could Your Loved One Have Cataracts?

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Senior Care in Cumming GA

Poor vision is thought to be a normal part of aging, and in some cases it is. However, when an elder’s vision goes from good to cloudy, a cataract may be the culprit. The National Eye Institute Senior-Care-Cumming-GAdefines a cataract as a clouding of the lens in one or both eyes, which affects over half of adults over the age of 80. Fortunately, this is not an eye condition that your loved one has to live with. An eye doctor would be the best person to get ask your cataract-related question to, but here is more information to consider for the older adult you are providing elderly care for in order to get a better idea of whether or not your loved one has this eye disease.

Causes of Cataracts
The lens is used to focus light onto the retina in the back of the eye. It works in the same way a camera lens does, adjusting the focus to bring both close and distant images into focus. The lens is made up of water and protein in order to keep the lens clear and let light pass through it. The protein in the lens of older adults may begin clumping together as they age, clouding a small portion of the lens. If it goes untreated, it could end up clouding the entire lens. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, or the wear and tear developed from aging may cause cataracts to occur.

If your loved one is receiving in-home care and begins complaining about the following eye problems, cataracts may be the issue.

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Glare from headlights, the sun, or lamps
  • Multiple images in one or both eyes
  • Poor vision at night
  • Colors are faded
  • The prescription of eyeglasses or sunglasses needs to constantly be adjusted

These symptoms may also be the result of other eye conditions, so getting tested from an eye doctor is the only way to know for sure if cataracts is the problem.

Detection Tests
An eye professional may diagnose your loved one’s eye problems by administering the following diagnostic tools:

  • Dilated eye exam: Eyedrops are used to dilate, or widen, the pupils. The eye doctor will then use a magnifying glass to examine the optic nerve and retina for any damage. If you are assisting your loved one with senior care, expect to drive them to and from the appointment as their vision will be blurred for several hours afterwards.
  • Tonometry: The pressure of the eye is tested, usually with the use of drops that will numb the eye.
  • Visual acuity test:  Also known as the “eye chart test,” each eye is tested to determine how well objects can be seen from various distances.

Most elders with cataracts can undergo surgery to have the condition corrected. With this information and the help of an eye care professional, your loved one will have a better idea of what eye condition they have.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in Cumming, GA, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511.

National Eye Institute. “Facts About Cataract.”