25 June 2013
Cataracts and dementia
Cataracts are a very common eye condition in older people. Most people with cataracts are over the age of 60 and they become more common as people age. Dementia is also a condition that mainly affects people over the age of 65 and becomes more common as people get older. It is thought that there are at least 100,000 people in the UK with both dementia and sight loss. Not everyone with dementia has cataracts nor do all patients with cataracts have dementia, but a significant number will have both conditions. Because of this many people may face having a cataract operation while also dealing with dementia.
The information in this factsheet covers:
• what a cataract is and its effect on vision
• how to tell if you or someone you care for has a cataract
• cataract surgery and the difference it can make to a person’s quality of life
• how to prepare for surgery
• how to help someone with dementia cope with surgery
• what happens after surgery.
Hopefully this information will be useful for people with dementia, their families, carers and medical professionals.
“I perform cataract surgery on many hundreds of patients each year. I have seen many patients with dementia experience great improvement in the quality of their lives after the surgery and they really appreciate having the operation.” Paul Ursell, Consultant Ophthalmologist
“My father has dementia and he had cataract surgery. His vision was better the next day and he is much more confident walking around the house as a consequence. Also watching the subtitles on TV is easier as he is deaf and cannot hear it and he is looking forward to having the second eye operated on.” Jenny, daughter of patient
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UK Operations Manager
VISION 2020 (UK) Ltd