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cataract post-op eye drops

cathy.honey

Registered User
Dec 23, 2010
5
Hello. My mother has Alzheimers and she still lives on her own with carer assistance twice weekly,

She is on the waiting list for a cataract operation but we have been told she will have to have drops in 4 times a day for 6 weeks. There is no way she is going to either manage or remember to do this on her own. As neither myself nor my brother live nearby, we don't know how we are going to manage this.

I have read that there is an injection they can administer at the time of the operation which eliminates the need for drops. Has anyone heard of this, or have any suggestions what we can do especially as she still likes to go out regularly.

Many thanks
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,902
London
Have you asked whether as part of the after care they could send district nurses or carers for six weeks to administer the drops? I have to admit though, my OH is terrible with drops and always shuts his eyes when i try to administer any!
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
I have had cataracts removed from both my eyes but I haven't heard of this injection. It isn't just a case of one lot of drops, there are 2 lots and some have to be given for a fortnight and others for 4 weeks so your mother would need to know the difference and it can get confusing even without dementia!
One lot are antibiotic drops and the others are steroid. As you can have an antibiotic and hydracortisone cream perhaps there is such a similar injection but try googling it to see.
 
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AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
Would it help to talk to her GP to see whether the surgery nurses could "go the extra mile" for your Mum and visit her to put in the drops? The Practice Nurse wouldn't ordinarily provide such help ... but realistically who else can?
 

florabunda

Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
24
My mum had her cataracts done last year. It was difficult. She needed drops 4 times a day for 2 weeks, then twice a day for another 2 weeks. I got carers in morning and evening, and the District nurses agreed to come midday. In practice, she never stayed in for the DNs, and I ended up chasing her round town. They do one eye at a time (for obvious reasons!) so whole performance had to be repeated a couple of months later.
I believe there is an injection, it may be worth asking your mum's GP or optician.
 

100 miles

Registered User
Apr 16, 2015
109
My mum had hers done last year. I spoke to her GP before the op and asked for District Nurses to visit to do the drops. (although sibling and I covered the weekends...which helped). She swore she was fine doing the drops herself and complained she had to wait in for the nurses....but it worked out OK.
She did need supervision for 24- 48 hours after the op. It helps if you are a light sleeper....mine removed the eye patch on her first night and I found her staring out of the bedroom window at 2am.
Good luck.
 

Mrsbusy

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
355
Eye drops

Having had a lot of eye surgery myself and having had both parents with cataract operation I think the injection you may mean is a steroid injection which is given when operating. I don't think it's likely this would be done to prevent the use of eye drops as I have had this included in my surgery but I still had yo do lots of drops.

One of my concerns would also be that for at least two weeks after the op it's necessary for her to wear a plastic shield over the eye for the first 12 hours after surgery and every night when in bed for two weeks, to prevent damage being done to the eye, like hitting it or scratching it whilst asleep. I do know surgeons are also not happy if person has a cat as a lot of them can cause injury to the eye after surgery whilst on the bed.

I think it maybe necessary to either arrange for a district nurse to call in or insist she is kept in hospital for the drops to be done. Whilst in hospital once, there was a lady who wasn't allowed home as she wasn't able to do the drops herself and it took the social worker four weeks to sort out someone to do them for her. She was bored rigid and it seemed a shame for the nurses and her as apart from the drops she was amazing at 94 and had all her facilities, unlike your mum, I presume.
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
I only had to wear an eye patch for the first night. However, as well as the eye drops, I had to bathe the eye with boiled water rather than tap water.


Sent from my iPod touch using Talking Point
 

Mrsbusy

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
355
Eye drops

I've just remembered another thing you need to consider post op in respect of cataract operations, you aren't allowed to lift anything heavy for about six weeks. I was told not allowed to load washing machine, ie lean forward and bend from waist, but it's ok if you can bend down using knees and squat which I think older people find hard. A full kettle is about the most you can lift for a while. Hope this helps.
 

AndreaP

Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
75
Adelaide South Australia
Mum had her cataracts done last December. I labelled the drops 1, 2 and 3 with big labels so she could read them. And then I rang her every time the drops were due and talked her through the drop using routine. After a week I rang her twice a day and she was used to the routine by then and doing it herself. When a bottle of drops was to be discontinued I took them out of the house.

She also has glaucoma and has used Lumigan at night for that for years. When the cataract drops stopped she also stopped the Lumigan. It was several months before I realised. Now she is in care and I know all her drops are administered correctly. It's a big relief.
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
I've just remembered another thing you need to consider post op in respect of cataract operations, you aren't allowed to lift anything heavy for about six weeks. I was told not allowed to load washing machine, ie lean forward and bend from waist, but it's ok if you can bend down using knees and squat which I think older people find hard. A full kettle is about the most you can lift for a while. Hope this helps.
Goodness, that didn't apply to me! I carried on as usual after the first 24 hours.
Living alone, I really had no option.
I even washed my hair leaning over the bath!
The thing that was emphasised to me, as I mentioned above, was not to get any water other than boiled near my eye for fear of infection.
I also only had to wear the eye shield for the first night but I did use it when I did that hair-washing.
 
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cathy.honey

Registered User
Dec 23, 2010
5
Hi everyone. Thank you so much for all your comments and suggestions. We think the waiting time is 3 months so the next step will be to visit Mum's GP and see what we can put in place in advance. We certainly don't want her to be hospitalised post-op waiting for social services to organise assistance for her (we have already experienced that problem!) as she loves her independence but we have a similar problem to florabunda that she would probably forget that the nurse was going to visit her and we don't live near enough to go and find her! I think it will be a challenging few weeks when the time comes!