As your parents get older, they sometimes need more support. One common issue many people struggle with when they’re older is cataracts.

Cataracts are prevalent, and half of all adults will develop them by age 75. Because cataracts develop slowly, many people don’t realize they have them initially or even notice them.

However, they can make it very hard to see once they develop. Fortunately, cataracts are treatable.

The only way to treat cataracts is by having cataract surgery. If you have a parent who’s struggling with impaired vision, it could be due to cataracts.

If that’s the case, it might be time to talk to them about cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn what you can do when parents need cataract surgery and what this means for their sight!

Make Sure Your Parents See the Eye Doctor

If your parents haven’t seen their eye doctor in a while, suggest they make an appointment. If they aren’t receptive to that, you can help them make one.

Eye exams often fall by the wayside, and depending on how long it’s been since they’ve been to the eye doctor, they may have no idea that their vision problems are because of cataracts. Since cataracts develop so slowly, it can be hard sometimes to realize that they’re behind your visual issues.

It can take years or even decades before cataracts affect vision enough to impair it significantly. But cataracts will continue developing, and as that happens, you may start noticing other symptoms.

Seeing an eye doctor can help your parents know how developed their cataracts are. Their eye doctor can then recommend cataract surgery if appropriate. 

Find Out if It’s Time for Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgeons recommend that you have cataract surgery when your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life. It can sometimes be hard to determine when your cataracts are doing that.

But when observing someone with cataracts, you may better understand how their vision affects their life. When it comes to your parents and their cataracts, ask yourself:

  • Do they struggle to navigate around their home?
  • Do they struggle to drive at night?
  • Have they injured themselves due to poor vision?
  • Are they socially isolating themselves due to shame about their vision?

These are all sure signs that it’s time for cataract surgery. If you notice that your parents’ vision is making their lives more difficult, you can help them see just how severe their cataracts are and encourage them to have surgery.

Help Them Prepare

Having any surgical procedure can feel daunting, including cataract surgery. However, cataract surgery is one of the world’s most commonly performed medical procedures.

It’s effective and very low-risk. By helping your parents through the process, you can encourage them to take the initiative to schedule their procedure.

Help them plan and remind them to ask their cataract surgeon any questions they may have. It’s essential for them to feel comfortable with their cataract surgeon.

If they don’t, they can always look elsewhere. Any procedure must have a foundation of trust, and if it’s not there, it may affect how your parents feel about their results.

Another way you can help your parents before they have cataract surgery is by helping them pick out an intraocular lens (IOL). During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed to remove the cataract.

The lens is then replaced with an IOL. There are several IOL options. Some are considered lifestyle lenses, and while they cost more, they can offer more dynamic vision.

You can discuss the options with your parents and their cataract surgeon to help them choose the right IOL for their needs and budget. 

Offer Support for the Procedure

Regarding the procedure itself, you can give your parents additional support. They won’t be able to drive immediately after having cataract surgery, so they will need a ride to and from the procedure.

If no one else is available, you can offer them a ride. You can also offer to cook or arrange food for the first night after cataract surgery and pick up post-surgical medications.

The good news is recovery from cataract surgery is pretty quick and easy. Most people can return to their normal activities within 24 hours. Most are also cleared to drive after their first follow-up appointment, which is usually the day after the surgery.

Supporting your parents through recovery should also be fairly easy. You can continue to help after the first day by setting up reminders to take post-surgical medication and checking up on them. 

Give Your Parents the Gift of Vision

Getting your parents to an eye doctor and offering your support can give them what they need to finally have cataract surgery. After having cataract surgery, your parents will be able to get their life back and be more active, no longer limited by poor vision from cataracts. With a lifestyle lens, your parents may even be able to see better than they ever could before they developed cataracts.

Get your parents started on the path to cataract surgery today by requesting an appointment at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN!