What It Feels Like To Have Cataracts

Employers who primarily work in the healthcare and home care service fields often put their employees through a training called "sensitivity training." This special training duplicates a lot of what their patients and/or clients experience with certain disabling conditions. It allows the new employees an opportunity to feel compassionate toward the people they will work with and provide care for. As an example, here is a description of what it is like to have cataracts.

Wear Protective Goggles Smeared with Petroleum Jelly

First and foremost, someone who is starting to develop cataracts will have a difficult time seeing. Things will get quite blurry at the beginning. The patient can still see some light and figures moving, as you will when you put on these petroleum jelly-smeared work goggles. Your vision is occluded, but not too bad. 

With the Goggles on, Flash a Bright LED Flashlight into Your Eyes

Still wearing these goggles, take a bright LED flashlight and flash your eyes quickly with it. Not only will the bright light be refracted by the jelly, but your eyes will need time to recover also. You will experience momentary blackness, followed by "floaters" in your sight created by the bright light and your eyes' attempt to adjust quickly to the amount of light with which they were just momentarily blasted.

This is what the middle stage of cataracts is like. You already cannot see well, and then your eyes are hit with varying wavelengths of light and darkness. You experience "flashes and floaters," with opaque orbs moving past your field of vision. Imagine experiencing that all the time.

Turn the Lights out Completely and Occlude All Light from the Room

At the final stage of cataracts, you are totally blind. You cannot see much, and if you do, it is all shadow figures moving about in more darkness. That can be quite terrifying. If you add dementia to the mix, imagine how that elderly person feels and would react. 

Catching Cataracts Early 

If you see your eye doctor annually, you can catch the development of cataracts early. This leads to cataract surgery, which removes your cloudy lenses from your eyes and replaces them with man-made lenses. Your sight is typically and almost fully restored to what it was prior to the development of cataracts, which for many cataract patients feels like a miracle. Now that you know what it feels like, and what signs to watch for, you should be able to stop your own cataracts from developing


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