Are you interested in becoming a caregiver?
Apply Now »

All "Senior Health & Wellbeing" Articles

Related Articles:

Preventative Care: A Five-Step Guide for Seniors and Family Caregivers
While factors such as age, gender, and family history are beyond seniors’ control, preventative care can reduce the frequency and severity of conditions that develop. Here are five ways to practice good preventative care.
5 Tips for Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes
We've gathered some tips and resources for aging individuals living with type 2 diabetes to help them maintain physical and mental well-being.
The Respiratory System: Age-Related Changes & COPD
The respiratory system, like many of the other human systems (e.g., cardiovascular, digestive), is a wondrously complex and sophisticated arrangement of organs working together to maintain homeostasis.
Diabetes Prevention and Care
Half of all Americans age 65 or older have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Elderly Home Care and Depression
It is important to recognize depression symptoms when caring for an elderly loved one. While seniors aging in their own home can help them maintain their independence, it can also be isolating.
Pneumonia in Seniors: Prevention and Treatments
Pneumonia is an infection that affects one or both lungs. The disease can range from mild to severe, and can be fatal.
Living with Arthritis
One in five adults suffer from arthritis, and the majority of these are seniors. For older adults to understand the stages of living with arthritis, it’s helpful to talk about how the disease is identified, diagnosed and managed.
What Does a Heart Attack Look Like?
Most of us have a specific idea of what a heart attack looks like: someone feels an abrupt, strong pain that causes them to stop in their tracks and clutch their chest.
Thyroid Disease and Seniors
As seniors embrace the golden years, they have many things to look forward to retirement, watching their children begin families of their own, playing with grandchildren, and hopefully enjoying a full life with the wisdom of age on their side.
Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis Later in Life
Being diagnosed with cancer later in life can be scary and overwhelming. A cancer diagnosis can make a person feel like their world is out of control.

The Myths and Facts of Cataracts: What Seniors Should Know 

CataractsSeparating Fact from Fiction
The average person will undoubtedly hear a lot of inaccurate information throughout his or her lifetime. From politics to sports, misinformation is perpetuated no matter what the topic at hand might be. And it’s especially common in the world of health information. The subject of cataracts, in particular, has received its fair share of myths and wives’ tales throughout the years, centered not only around the formation of cataracts but also the surgical procedure to have them removed. 

Cataracts represent the leading cause of blindness worldwide (with more cases than glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration combined), and they are known to primarily affect older adults. In fact, it’s estimated that, by the age of 80, more than 50% of all Americans will have had a cataract or cataract surgery. With these facts in mind, it’s vital that seniors have the right information to better understand the condition and know what to do if they have them.

Five Cataracts Myths

  1. Cataracts grow on the eye: Rather than being a type of “growth,” cataracts are often the result of protein fibers clumping together and clouding the eyes’ lenses. This then causes light to become scattered or blocked completely as it passes through the lens, which prohibits the retina from receiving a clearly defined image. Some cataracts are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light, eye injury, or as a result of diabetes.
  2. Blurred vision is the only symptom: While blurred vision is the most commonly reported symptom of cataracts, people also experience extreme sensitivity to light, both inside and outside. Other symptoms include frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions, double vision, changes in color perception, and increased difficulty with nighttime vision.
  3. Cataracts are preventable: Technically, no. While there’s no study on cataract prevention, medical professionals do believe that there are strategies that may help in reducing the risk of cataract development and slowing its progression. For starters, older adults should see their eye care professional once a year. These visits will help identify signs of cataracts as well as other eye diseases. Other helpful measures include incorporating a healthy diet (full of fruits and vegetables), and avoiding smoking and drinking. As mentioned above, cataracts can form from exposure to sunlight, so it’s important to always wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection.
  4. Cataract surgery is dangerous for older adults: Thanks to years of technological advancements, cataract surgery is widely regarded as one of the safest medical procedures, with a success rate of 95-98%. Patients often only need minimal sedation, which allows those in their 80s and 90s to undergo the operation. Recovery from the surgery is also less demanding than that of other procedures. By and large, patients will need to refrain from rubbing their eye(s) and lifting heavy objects, for up to three weeks. Despite the success rate, it should be noted that no surgical procedure is ever without risk. Seniors should talk to their eye surgeon and other medical care professionals before agreeing to cataract surgery.
  5. Cataracts can come back: Once a cataract has been removed from the lens, it will not return. In the months or years following surgery, a “secondary” cataract may develop when the membrane that holds the artificial lens implant becomes cloudy. However, this can be corrected with a quick and painless procedure, known as a YAG laser capsulotomy, in which the eye surgeon creates a small opening in the membrane to help restore visual acuity.

Comfort Keepers®Can Help 
Although post-cataract surgery recovery may only last a few weeks, it can still impact a senior’s daily living. For family caregivers concerned about their loved ones’ wellbeing after surgery, Comfort Keepers can lend a helping hand. Our professionally trained caregivers can provide mobility assistance, meal preparation, and assistance with laundry and housekeeping. Because recovery may require some seniors to take a break from driving, we can also provide transportation to appointments or anywhere else they need to go. Contact us today for more information about how we can help support senior safety, health, and independence.

Prevent Blindness America. “Facts & Myths About Cataracts.” Web. 2018.
Vision Source. “Is There Any Way to Prevent Cataracts?” Web. 2018.  
CNIB. “Cataract Myths and Facts.” Web. 2018.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Is cataract surgery safe for patients above 65 years of age?” by David F Chang MD. Web. 2014.
WebMD. “Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Cataracts” Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD. Web. 2018.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Cataract Facts and Myths.” Web. 2013.

Sign up to receive helpful info right to your inbox.

We understand choosing an in-home care provider can be a difficult decision, and we want to make your journey as easy as possible. We're here to support you by providing helpful senior care tips and information on in-home care and senior health and wellbeing topics.

Filed Under:
  • Treatments
  • Eye Diseases
  • Cataracts
  • Signs & Symptoms
  • Diseases