What You Need to Know About Geriatric Care and Cataracts

While I am sure most have heard about cataracts to some degree in relation to a friend or family member who may have received care or therapy, do you really know what the geriatric condition entails? For a simple explanation, a cataract is a condition in the eye that causes the lens to become cloudy, resulting in the impairment of vision. Cataracts are an important topic for geriatric care because it is very closely related to one’s age. This condition affects more people than you may realize – more than 50% of Americans over the age of 80 have had or currently have cataracts in one or both eyes.

While there is a surgical operation available to care for cataracts, many either do not realize their condition or avoid the care out of fear or financial burden1. With that said, let’s look a little closer at cataracts, no pun intended. According to Aging Care, the eye is made up of many different parts that come together to help you interpret color and light – one vital part being the lens. The lens allows one to focus light into nerve signals, or messages, that give the brain a chance to interpret the image1. Therefore, in order for the brain to interpret the signals efficiently, the lens must be clear1. In the case of a cataract in one or both eyes, “if the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred. 1” At times, when the cataracts advance without care, it can blur one’s vision completely or even disallow them from interpreting colors effectively.

So what causes this geriatric care epidemic? The lens in your eye is made up of protein and water. As one gets older, the protein in the lens can clump together, which creates a clouding effect that can grow over time. Researchers have spent extensive time and money looking for the external reason for cataracts, theorizing that potentially smoking tobacco or diabetes could have a hand in the clumping of these proteins when one reaches an older age1.

If you or someone you know is struggling with blurry or foggy vision, I would advise seeking geriatrics care physician or vision therapy professional to get checked out. If nothing else, I always suggest playing it safe and getting more information to equip you for healthy living.


1Aging Care (2014). Cataracts: Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis. National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved June 19, 2014 from http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/What-is-a-Cataract-age-related-eye-diseases-108282.htm