As your parents grow older, there comes a time when you may need to have a conversation with them regarding their vision. Cataracts are one of the biggest threats to older adults, age 60 and older. Cataracts can drastically reduce the quality of life of anyone affected by them.
The problem with cataracts is that they tend to go unnoticed until it is too late. Your mom or dad might complain about blurry vision or double vision in one eye. They might mention that they see halos around lights, especially street lights at night time. Some parents might chalk this up to signs of aging, others might ignore it altogether.
As our parents age, they can sometimes ignore health-related issues. Whether it’s out of fear or just plain stubbornness, it’s up their children to help them make important decisions about their health. Whether you suspect your parents might have early signs of cataracts, or whether their doctor has already told them they need surgery, here are some tips for you to have a conversation with them regarding their eyesight:
What are Cataracts?
It’s important to understand what exactly are cataracts and how to treat them. Cataracts are when the lens of your eyeball becomes cloudy, much like a dirty car windshield. Vision looks hazy, blurry, or not as colorful through a cataract.
Symptoms of cataracts develop slowly over the course of many years. This is why so many adults over the age of 60 suffer from them. They chalk up the slightly blurry vision to “aging” and think nothing of it. As time goes by, they adjust to the less-than-perfect vision. Here are a few common signs and symptoms of cataracts are:
- Blurry vision
- Seeing double vision
- Extra sensitivity to light
- Trouble seeing at night
- Bright colors seem faded or like they have a yellowish tinge.
How are Cataracts Treated in Seattle?
First off, your parents need to visit a Seattle ophthalmologist in order to test their vision. A quick and painless test to check for cataracts will be performed. If the eye doctor finds signs of cataracts, they will recommend surgery. Lasers and medication cannot effectively treat cataracts. Surgery is the only option. While this may seem extremely scary and painful, cataract surgery is relatively painless and has an extremely high success rate (more than 90%).
The Seattle eye doctor uses a microscope to make a small incision in the eye. They remove the old lens and a new lens is inserted. The incision is then closed. Most of the time stitches are not required and the incision will self-heal.
Approaching the Subject of Cataracts
If you suspect your parent may have vision issues, kindly sit them down and express your concerns. When talking to your parents, try not to talk in a condescending tone of voice. It could infuriate them or cause them to ignore you. It’s important to be sensitive about the situation. We recommend assuring them that the health of their vision is paramount.
Testing and Detection of Cataracts in Burien & Seattle, Washington
In this day and age, more and more people are living longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives. However, there comes a time when even the healthiest person starts to show signs of aging. If you suspect your parent has cataracts or any other vision-related issues, schedule an appointment at Clearview Eye & Laser. We have two locations in the Seattle-area, including West Seattle and Highline-Burien.
At Clearview Eye & Laser, we specialize in testing and detection of cataracts. Our Seattle eye care doctors will help give your parents back their gift of vision, which will ultimately help improve the quality of their lives.