June is national Cataract Awareness Month. A cataract is a cloudy film that develops on the lens of the eye, affecting a person’s vision. This extremely common eye disease is a natural result of aging but the risk of developing a cataract can be increased by certain habits or environmental qualities. In order to help your parent prevent (or reduce) the risk the getting a cataract, you and their elderly care providers can implement these strategies into her life, especially if you have a family history of cataracts.
Smoking produces free radicals in the eyes. Those radicals can harm the cells in your parent’s eyes and may increase the toxins that make the chances of getting a cataract higher. If your parent is a smoker, help her stop smoking as soon as she’s able. Finding a cessation program can often be a good first step when your parent is willing to attempt to quit smoking. Also having a great support team such as yourself, your family and her elderly care provider can also help her succeed.
Eat Well with Elderly Care Help
Foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamin C may help reduce the risk of cataract development. And if a cataract has already begun to form, they’re likely to slow the speed of growth. The next time your parent goes to the grocery store or has an elderly care provider pick up some groceries for her, look at having some vitamin C-rich items on that shopping list, such as any citrus fruit, tomatoes (and tomato juice), red and green peppers, kiwi fruit and strawberries just to name a few. Their elderly care provider can also help by prepping fresh fruit and vegetables for immediate consumption so your parent can just grab what she needs whenever she feels a little hungry.
Protect Her Eyes
It’s important to protect the eyes from the damaging rays of the sun whenever your parent goes outside. Sunglasses that block out 99-100% of the sun’s UVB and UVA rays are a great way to start. Your parent should make sure they fit tightly and screen out 75% or more of the light. UV light can damage the protein in the eyes, so wearing sunglasses on even slightly overcast days will help your parent protect her eyes.
While all alcohol doesn’t need to be eliminated from your parent’s diet, reducing the intake of alcohol could help in the prevention of cataracts. The key to alcohol consumption and eye protection is drinking a moderate amount each day. Studies have shown that drinking 1-2 glasses of wine a day helps reduce the risk of cataracts but going over 2 drinks per day increases the risk.
Keep Blood Sugar Levels Steady
If your parent has diabetes, she is at a higher risk of developing a cataract because if her blood sugar levels remain high for too long, it can cause her eye lens to swell and change the blood sugar into sorbitol. Sorbitol collected in the eye can cause cloudy vision and possible cataract development.
Get Elderly Care Aides to Assist in Getting Their Eyes Checked
Routine eye exams are paramount to preventing cataracts and catching them early enough so that a treatment plan can be developed. Anyone over the age of 65 should get a complete exam every 1-2 years (which will include pupil dilation).
Talk to your parent about cataracts during Cataract Awareness Month and help her keep her avoid blindness and keep her vision strong for years to come.
If you or a family member are in need of hiring Elderly Care Services in Fort Lauderdale FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Margate, Pompano Beach and Tamarac.
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