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 Cataracts 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:57 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Post Cataracts
Just before my dad was diagnosed with Lewys in 06 he had a cataract op on one of his eyes. He was due to have the other one done but the consultant who diagnosed him said it wouldn’t be worth putting him through it. At the time, and with all the other problems to deal with, we didn’t ask why.

Since then we have had all the usual ups and downs of this horrible disease and have just tried to make him as comfortable as possible. However, the past few days he has been taking more interest in everything around him. He has been looking at the TV and last night asked to have the newspaper to read. Considering he hasn’t been able to read anything for the past 3 years I gave it it to him and held my breathe. He tried and tried to read the pages, then all tears came into his eyes as he admitted defeat. He said the problem was double vision which he said he suffers with most of the time. Do you think having the cataract done in the other eye would fix this? If so, do you think he would be capable of getting through it? Or is it just another horrible Lewy symptom which prevents him from being able to read?


Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:36 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3339
Location: Vermont
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Good question and I hope you get an answer to "is this just an LBD thing". I wish my dad would have cataract surgery on his eye that hasn't been done, but he refuses. I think it would increase his quality of life, and have noticed his vision has really declined, like everything else, in the past 8 months. So, I don't know if this big vision decline is his cataract or the LBD. He is going to a new eye dr. since he moved to ALF, so she doesn't have an historical perspective on his eyes. He got new glasses last spring.... Since he won't have the surgery, I guess I should just cross this off my list of "things to worry about". He can no longer hold a newspaper anyway.....


Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:44 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Many with LBD cannot read.

How are you treating the double vision?

Can you take your father to see a neuro-ophthalmologist?


Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:34 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3339
Location: Vermont
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I don't know about Calabona, but I can't get my dad to any real speciality-type doctors. It is a min. of 90 min. away (Hopkins) and when I checked into transportation to get him there to see a gerontologist/palliative care specialist, I found out it would cost $2,300 roundtrip. That's just the transportation....... No specialists that would be helpful to my dad come from the Baltimore/Washington area. It is just too long a trip to take him on even if I could transport him. Very frustrating....
Robin - do you know why many LBD people can't read?


Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:04 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
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Frank can no longer read the paper. He would spend an hour looking at the police blotter so I started asking him if he wanted me to read it to him and he did. He can still read a 3-4 word note. He just had his eyes checked so they're ok.


Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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LTCVT -

Eye movement problems are associated with LBD. Here's an article by Dr. Armstrong on this topic:

Dementia with Lewy bodies: A ‘new’ type of dementia with visual symptoms
http://www.optometry.myzen.co.uk/articl ... 030110.pdf

An eye doctor did speak at a webinar/conference in 2008 on vision problems in PD. You might learn something by perusing the few notes I took. See:
http://community.lbda.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=929
Do a search on the word "vision."

Robin


Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:52 am
Posts: 154
Location: Michigan
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Robin -

Thank you. How timely this article is.

LO has an appointment for his annual eye examination next month (because of his diabetes).
I have printed a copy of of "A 'new' type of dementia with visual symptoms" to give to the Univ of Michigan ophthalmology department where LO will be seen. It will be a useful learning tool for the resident doctors there.

In fact, our grand son is also a resident ophthalmologist (first year) at Wayne State University in Detroit and I am going to email him a copy of this article.

Karen


Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:52 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:57 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Post Cataracts
Thank you for all of your replies. The waiting list for a cataract op over here is at least 6 months so I think I will get my dad on to it and then we will have time to decide what to do. I have read the articles Robin posted and now realise how much Lewys plays a part in eyesight problems. My dad has awful hallucinations where people and animals invade the home at night and terrify him and he sees writing on walls, bed covers, etc. He can hardly walk now and hasn’t been outside for 5 months, I can no longer get him into the car so it might be best to leave things as they are. Most of the time he seems content to just sit in the comfort of his own with his family all around. How our lives have changed since this horrible disease invaded our family. My heart goes out to all of you having to cope with this.


Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:52 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Calabona,
Is your father receiving any kind of medication to deal with the terrifying hallucinations? For one LBD expert's approach at treatment, see Boeve's "Continuum" paper on lbda.org.
Robin


Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:31 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:04 am
Posts: 14
Location: New Zealand
Post Cataracts
I've just read your post regarding cataracts - my husband has had ongoing eye problems - macular peel, torn retina and now a cataract. Always something that another pair of glasses or endless trips to the optometrist will work the magical cure. He cannot understand what he wants to read but spends hours a day alternating 5 or 6 sets of glasses. Very frustrating for him and more so me!!! He is about to have a cataract op and has already contacted the optometrist to say he'll be coming for new glasses (he's probably ordered a new car on the strength of that!!!) Will this op be rworth the effort??
This disease is so unfair - still has a certain level of understanding but can be totally irrational and gets angry because I do not agree with all his bright ideas (many of which are hugely expensive) Friends who see him occasionally often think he is fine and I feel I am inventing the daily dramas.
Now we have problems getting dressed - shirts inside out, pyjamas worn during the day, undies on back to front............what next!


Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:29 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
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We have much of the same daily challenges. Lately Frank has trouble with his straw. He doesn't know where it goes and when I put it in his mouth he can't always figure out how to use it. I do have to smile when he comes out with his tee shirt pulled over his legs, or when I'm looking for my glasses, after a quite look I go to Frank, he's wearing two pair of glasses. Emotionally and phyically draining but as you all know, "this is our life".
Take care, Gerry


Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:10 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3339
Location: Vermont
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If only the pharm. co. could make an anti-irrationality pill! Wouldn't that make our lives a lot easier?


Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:04 am
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