It can be difficult to tell if your parents’ worsening eyesight is a normal side effect of getting older or something more serious: cataracts. If you’ve noticed your parents needing stronger and stronger prescriptions, preferring brighter lights, finding night driving difficult because of halos and reduced vision, or experiencing side effects light double vision, it might be best to recommend they get examined for cataracts.
It can be difficult for children, even adult ones, to talk to their parents about their health issues, but for the sake of their health, it’s important to do. Don’t speak in a patronizing manner, and don’t push them into anything they’re uncomfortable with. It’s far better to approach things from a place of concern instead of one of condescencion.
If your parent does want to know more, consider bringing up some of these comforting facts. First, diagnosing cataracts can be quite simply done at an ophthalmologist’s office. Even if cataracts are found, surgery doesn’t necessarily need to be done right away–most patients can try stronger prescriptions, only getting surgery if their quality of life is affected. Cataract surgery is both very common and very safe–according to the National Eye Institute, about 90% of patients who undergo this surgery experience improvement in their vision. Medicare often covers the cost of surgery, which is quick, and can be done under local anesthesia, requiring no hospital stay.
Talking to your parents about cataracts doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. #HealthStatus
- 1Cataracts may appear as a cloudiness of the eyes that can cause blurred, double or impaired vision and in some extreme cases blindness.
- 2Cataracts may be the butt of a lot of jokes but that does not mean that they should not be taken seriously.
- 3Not all cataracts need to be removed surgically and if it does, the procedure is common, simple and covered by medicare.
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