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Cataracts - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum


Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Mum is 86 and has cataracts in both her eyes. Reading has become difficult for her and certain colours are distorted (purple appears brown through her eyes). She has seen the specialist and is going to have the worst cataract removed next week.

Mum is quite nervous about having the op, but after reading all the information about the op and the fact that it has a success rate of around 99% I've done my best to reassure her that it should only involve minor discomfort and it's well worth doing. She has not got a very high pain threshold but I'm hoping the eye drops will numb everything thoroughly. (I think maybe they use an injection sometimes, in the actual eyeball Image - yikes, I won't mention that to her.)

My mother in law had one eye done a while back and has assured Mum that it's nothing to worry about. Fingers crossed it will all go well for her but we're both a bit anxious about it. Mum even asked me the other day if they will have to remove her eye to do the op! Image (Think she remembers various old horror films with various gory scenes concerning eyes... these things can put some awful pictures in one's mind.).

I'll report back in a week or so with an update, as I think a lot of people with elderly carees may have similar situations. Apparently over 50% of people over 65 have cataracts, but often they don't impair their eyesight until they've developed over the course of several years.
Shewolf - Ive sent you a message x
My MIL had it done some years ago, both eyes, one after another (ie, they did one first, made sure it had 'taken' and then after a gap moved on to the next.) I can tell you her eyesight is now so good she can spot a penny coin on a highly patterned carpet about eight feet away (far more than I could!). So it was well, well worth it for her.

I haven't had cateract surgery, but I have had laser treatment to mend a tear in my retina, and the opthamologist (sp?!) did it on the spot. I put my chin on a cradle, sitting and staring at the doc, he held my head in place, and then came at my eye with his laser (bit scary, but felt nothing - been given a local) and in a few minutes it was all done and dusted. Hopefully the cateract operation won't be a great deal more than that!

It's interesting about the colour shift with cateracts. Apparently, if you study Monet's impressionist paintings (all those lily ponds!), as his cataracts developed, he used far more reds and browns on his palette, so his paintins are redder and browner - but after his cateract operation he was able to see the full spectrum again, so green and blue lilyponds re-appeared!

All the best with the op, and it really is totally routine these days.
Thanks Crocus, that was kind of you to PM me.

Thanks Jenny - all this feedback is useful to help reassure Mum that the small discomfort will be well worth it. Didn't know about Monet's cataracts, but knew his sight had failed later in life. Explains a lot about his art and will be a good story to tell Mum, as she is artistic and used to paint portraits.

Op due this Saturday so hope to report a good outcome next week. Image
Jenny is right about Monet and lilyponds...
Yes, if you look at Monet's last paintings, there is a lot more paint on them in a desperate attempt by him to try to see the colours more clearly.

My mum had her cataract done last year and we were both worried as she only has sight in one eye. She was a day patient, and home by teatime with an eye-patch which meant of course she was entirely blind. The following day she was fine.

Good luck for Saturday, She Wolf,
Coming late to this thread. There is a very good book (first published 1970) that investigates the effect of imperfect and changing eyesight on artists and other creative people. http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Through-B ... evor-Roper

All the direct 'cataract' questions have been answered, but as I had the surgery on one eye 10 years ago, and my husband, in the midst of his dementia, had both eyes done, 6 months apart, last year, I might add a word or two. My husband also had incipient glaucoma, for which he had to apply eye-drops regularly. After the surgery, which reduced the pressure in his eyeballs as well as removing the cataracts, his vision is very much improved, he needs spectacles only for reading — so only one pair to mislay every ten minutes, instead of two — and doesn't have to use drops any more. Win all round.

I was diagnosed with developing cataracts in both eyes in 2002, when I was only 61. The right one progressed rapidly, and was removed in 2003; the left has not changed at all in more than a decade, and is not yet giving me any problems. I wanted to retain my short-sight + excellent very close vision, and the surgeon actually gave me a lens implant that retained my 'natural' eyesight, rather than the more usual kind designed to give good distance vision. It was so accurate that I didn't need to change my glasses prescription after the surgery.

The surgery was not scary at all, because the sedation takes away any fear and anxiety. Interesting psychedelic patterns while the surgeon makes the tiny incision to break up and extract the cloudy lens and insert the artificial one. The worst bit was probably the horror-film effect when one looked at the eye next day, with its blood-red 'white'!

If anyone is interested, cataract surgery has a long history. Surgeons were already able to improve sight by removing cataracts in the Roman period.

Posted twice in error.
Take the advice of the specialist.
My father was having his eyes checked annually for 50 years and the cataracts remained the same size and were not causing problems.
He had private medical insurance but the doctors would not even operate for money.
They all said the operation involves some risk and they did not want to take the risk until it was necessary.
When he was 82 the cataracts started increasing in size and they said at that point the operation was necessary or he would not be able to drive.
It was a success and he was able to drive without glasses.
Unfortunately he had difficulty reading newspapers but he lived with that as driving was more important to him.
When he went in to care for the last 7 weeks of his life with dementia he always wanted his daily newspaper.
The only problem was he mainly read it up side down.

... daily newspaper... mainly read it upside down.
Oh dear Brian, do you mean he wasn't really able to read at all, but liked to keep up the appearance? I've heard that dementia patients can lose the ability to read and write... dementia - the thief that just keeps thieving. Image

Mum can only read the headlines and sub titles, can't manage any of the normal text in the paper. I'm hopeful all that will change after the op.

We're so lucky that modern medicine has advanced to the point where saving somebody's failing eyesight has become routine now. It's amazing to think that the ancient Romans were doing these ops 2000 years ago - though I imagine they didn't have such high success rates back then!