The Challenges of Cataracts Can Be Met With the Aid of Simi Valley Home Care Professionals.
What Are Cataracts?
Eyes have several sections, all of which work together to produce vision. The middle section is a transparent membrane called the lens. If the lens becomes opaque, the person is said to have cataracts.
A healthy lens allows images to pass through to the last section, which is the retina. Images that pass through a lens clouded by cataracts are blurry and distorted.
Statistics reveal that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. More people have cataracts then all the other eye diseases combined. Millions of Americans already have cataracts, and millions more are expected to develop them as they age.
What Causes Cataracts?
A build-up, or clumping, of tissue on the lens causes cataracts. The lens becomes clouded wherever the clumps form. As time passes, more opaque tissue accumulates, and the person can no longer see clearly.
Age is the primary reason the lens becomes cloudy. Other causes include, but are not limited to:
• Certain medications
• Diseases such as hypertension and diabetes
• Injuries to the eyes
• Radiation from sunlight
• Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Cataracts can form in both eyes but often develop at different rates.
Elderly individuals benefit from home care in the Simi Valley area for cataracts even before their eyes become cloudy. Research shows that good nutrition has a role in preventing or slowing the growth of cataracts. Individuals living alone often eat fast food and don’t have balanced diets.
A health care professional can assist with:
• Shopping for and preparing fresh food
• Helping a client achieve a healthy weight
• Making sure a client wears sunglasses outside
• Assisting with smoking cessation efforts
• Reducing alcohol consumption
They also encourage clients to have regular eye exams.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Home health care becomes even more important as cataracts progress. Because the progression is slow, individuals aren’t always aware of how impaired their vision is. They unconsciously adapt to not seeing well.
A person with cataracts may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Blurry or dim vision
• Distorted colors
• Double vision
• Halos around lights
• Loss of night vision
• Sensitivity to light
Any of these symptoms can lead to accidents, falls, or injuries in the course of daily activities.
Home Care in The Simi Valley Area for Cataracts
As individuals continue to lose the ability to see clearly, they need assistance with care. Home care in the Simi Valley area for cataracts allows patients to live where they’re the happiest. Family members don’t have to worry about the patient’s safety or security.
Surgery for Cataracts
Cataracts can be successfully treated. Cataract surgery has a high rate of success. However, pre-surgical preparation and post-surgical care are essential.
Pre-surgical preparation varies from individual to individual and may include:
• Stopping or reducing the dosage of certain medications
• Treating any infections or other eye conditions
• Making sure underlying medical conditions are under control
Simi Valley health care professionals assist their clients prepare physically and mentally for the surgery.
Cataract removal is done on an outpatient basis. Patients return home the same day. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for the next day.
The surgery consists of removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. The new lens is designed to last a lifetime. Only one eye is operated on at a time.
Patients are sent home with an eye cover. Unless directed otherwise, the cover remains in place until the follow-up appointment. Aftercare instructions focus on giving the eye time to heal.
Postoperative eye drops are often prescribed. The drops are meant to prevent infection and reduce pressure in the eye.
Using the prescribed drops can be complicated because:
• Patients may need to use more than one kind of drop
• Drops must be used in a certain order and on a certain schedule
• Some eye drops must be refrigerated
• The tip of the dropper must not touch the eye
Professionals offering home care in the Simi Valley area for cataracts have the expertise to correctly install the drops.
Other post-surgical aftercare instructions often include:
• Applying eye ointments
• Using pain medications if needed
• Avoiding strenuous activities
• Refraining from bending forward or lifting
• Keeping the eye clean
• Taking medication to prevent coughing and sneezing
Home health care helps clients comply with the instructions.
Avoiding infection after surgery is critical. Home health care professionals ensure that eyes, face, and hands are kept clean. They also keep the environment free of dust and other irritants.
It’s important to keep any contaminants out of the eyes, including soap and water. Doing so can be a challenge without help.
Studies have shown that releasing cataract patients to self-care can have a negative effect. As with any surgery, cataract removal has the potential for complications. Complications can range from minor to severe.
Knowledgeable home care specialists in the Simi Valley area monitor the healing process and evaluate the patient’s recovery. They coordinate follow-up care with the doctor and make sure emergency care is obtained if needed.