Cataracts is an eye condition caused by a buildup of protein in the eye. Although it can occur at any age, it is far more common in those who are 75-years old—or older. If your parent or loved one is suffering from cataracts, they will likely need surgery to correct the problem. Although the recovery time is not very long or painful, your loved one will likely need help for the first few hours—or days—after the surgery.
How can you help? Here are five tips to help your loved one recover from cataract surgery smoothly:
1. Take Them Home
Although cataract surgery does not take long, your loved one will probably be groggy afterwards due to anesthesia. In addition, they may not be able to see very well immediately following surgery.
For their safety, you should take your loved one home. If you cannot drive, make sure you have transportation arranged so that they do not have to worry about finding their way home.
2. Provide Sunglasses
The solution used in the eye during the surgery will make your loved ones eyes sensitive to light. Even if it seems dark to you, it is probably bright to your loved one. To make them more comfortable, make sure they wear sunglasses following the surgery for at least a few hours—or until the optometrist says they can remove them.
3. Inform Yourself
Like any surgery, there will be some side effects for your loved one. Common side effects of cataract surgery include itching, sensitivity, discomfort, and mild pain. Even if your parent or loved one knows what to expect, it can help if you know as well—as sometimes, your loved one might forget.
You should also ask the doctor any questions you or loved one may have. Write down the answers you get and keep them handy, so that you can answer any questions your loved one may have about the surgery and its recovery.
4. Assist with Medication
After the surgery, the optometrist will probably require your loved one to use medicated eye drops to speed healing and reduce the likelihood of infection. If your loved one needs to use these, assist your loved one with putting the eye drops in—especially if they have shaky hands.
5. Help with Household Chores
Your loved one will have some physical restrictions after undergoing cataract surgery. Your loved one will not be able to bend over at the waist. They will also not be able to lift heavy items. These restrictions may last a few days or a few weeks, depending on the current health of your loved one.
Even if it is only for a few days, you can make your loved one feel at ease by helping them with household chores. Do the vacuuming, the dishes, and take out the trash.
By utilizing these five tips to help your loved one, you should notice a quick improvement in their condition. In fact, soon after the surgery your loved one may notice that their prescription lenses are too strong—so a follow-up appointment should always be made. So hang around your loved one until they are fully healed—and able to see properly. You won't regret it.