A detached retina requires prompt treatment for the best prognosis, and your loved one's retina surgery will need to be scheduled soon after the problem is diagnosed. As a caregiver, this means that you only have a short time to prepare for a safe and healthy recovery. According to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, it could take several weeks or months for your loved one's vision to return, and in some instances, it may never be the same. For this reason, you will want to use the following strategies to help your loved one cope with their vision loss while staying comfortable as they complete their plan for after-care.
Know What to Expect
There are three main types of surgeries that may be used depending upon the severity and location of the retinal detachment, and each can have different outcomes depending upon how long the retina has been detached and the severity of the tear. Talk to your loved one's retinal surgeon before the surgery to find out if vision loss is expected so that your loved one can be emotionally prepared.
Set Up a Comfortable Recovery Environment
After having eye surgery, it is common for a person to experience sensitivity to light for the first few days. If possible, dim the lights in your home, yet make sure there is still a well-lit path through main walking areas so that your loved one will not fall. The U.S. National Library of Medicine also explains that your loved one may be required to keep their face down or to the side most of the day for a period of several weeks. If they must lie face down, consider using a massage table that allows for more interaction so that they will be more likely to comply with this stipulation and avoid a complication that could further damage their vision.
Eliminate Fall Hazards
Whether your loved one's vision loss is temporary or long term, they are at greater risk for falls during this period of adjustment. Remove rugs, cords and other hazards from the walking path, and consider placing colored tape on the edges of steps to make them more visible. Encourage your loved one to use caution in the restroom too, since it may be harder to see the ledge when they step into the bathtub or shower.
Use Technology to Assist with Entertainment
Retinal specialists often recommend avoiding eyestrain during recovery, and your loved one may not be able to read of watch television due to their vision loss. Use audio books and computer screen readers as an alternative form of entertainment. Dictation software can also allow your loved one to write emails or complete work tasks without having to stare directly at a monitor.
After your loved one has fully recovered, they may still need to see a retinal specialist to ensure that that their vision is returning as expected. Yet, you can ease their transition by creating a comfortable environment that promotes independence and safety as they recover from their retinal surgery. For more tips, contact a company like Advanced Retinal Institute Inc.