5 ways to manage your eyesight when waiting for cataract surgery


Following the latest Covid-19 announcement loosening restrictions, there may still be some delays to routine surgeries, which might mean your wait for cataract surgery is extended.

It’s important to note that a delay in surgery, whether it be days, weeks or even a few months, doesn’t put your vision at permanent risk and doesn’t increase the risk of any surgery complications. It also doesn’t mean that the results of your surgery won’t be as good.

Whilst the current situation is unavoidable, we’ve put together five helpful ways that you can protect your eyesight and manage with reduced vision whilst waiting for your cataract surgery.

  1. Avoiding hazards

If your eyesight is impaired due to cataracts, then you might be at risk from potential unseen hazards, even in the comfort of your own home. To avoid these causing any potential slips, trips or falls, there’s many things you can do to avoid and manage these, including looking out for rugs and uneven surfaces, objects left in hallways or on the stairs and furniture.

Ask a family member or friend to help make your home hazard-proof and avoid any unnecessary injuries or accidents.

  1. Helping you to read

If reading is too difficult or tiring, then there’s lots of things that can help you out. If you’re reading for leisure, then audiobooks or podcasts are a good alternative.

If you’re struggling to read your post, then you can notify your service providers that you require any correspondence in large print to make sure you don’t miss anything important, and the same applies to your medication. If you struggle to read the packaging then speak to your pharmacist who’ll be able to assist you in dispensing and administering safely.

A great way to help you read, whether it’s a magazine, your mobile phone, or food packaging, is using a magnifying device. Your local optician may be able to advise you on the best options, so it is worth giving them a call for advice. Alternatively, there are options to buy in supermarkets, apps you can download on mobile devices and some websites even have functions to enlarge text or read text out to you.

  1. Watching TV

A much-loved pastime for us all, made difficult with impaired vision. If you’re struggling to enjoy your favourite shows then you can enable Audio Description (AD) on your TV.

AD describes what is happening on screen so that you don’t miss any important details, particularly doing action scenes with little to no dialogue.

  1. Avoiding bright light

Having the right lighting on something you’re reading or an activity you’re doing, or in rooms with potential hazards around, can really help how well you see things.

Avoid any really bright, unshaded lights and use blinds or curtains to help shield you from any bright sunshine. Utilise the sunlight for certain activities – for example sitting with your back to the window when reading.

  1. Getting extra help

Following the above tips will help keep you safe from potential hazards whilst you await your cataract surgery, however there are lots of ways to keep your eyes healthy. A healthy diet is also recommended to help with your eye health. Foods like green, leafy vegetables, and oily fish contain some excellent nutrients, which can help ward off age-related eye problems. And remember your lifestyle plays an important part too in eye health so quitting smoking will be beneficial to good eye health.

There are lots of great organisations and charities available to support you with any eye health issues. For information and support on eye conditions, treatments and living with reduced vision there’s plenty of helpful websites you can visit for support. These contain lots of details and advice on general eye health, all with the same goal; to help you understand that you’re not alone and there is help out there if you need it.

SpaMedica provides cataract surgery for NHS patients and has short waiting times, with patients normally seen within 2-4 weeks of receiving a referral. Everyone has the right to choose their desired treatment provider in the NHS so you can request your local optician to refer to us.

For further advise and information if you wish to receive treatment from SpaMedica and get a referral from their optician, visit our referral page.

Don’t just take our word for it, find out what our patients have to say and why we have over 4,500 5-star NHS reviews.

Here’s to a clearer, brighter future.

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