Your Cataract Guide

Your eye health is important, but many factors can affect your vision and eye health. Cataracts are a common problem for many older Americans, and they can drastically impact vision. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

What Are Cataracts? 

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. Light passes through the lens and hits the retina, allowing you to see a clear image. Cataracts interfere with this process, leading to cloudy/blurry vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Halos around light
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Faded colors
  • Night blindness

Cataracts can affect one or both eyes, and they have different stages. An early cataract may have little to no symptoms. As the condition advances to an immature cataract, you may start to see the cataract, and you start to experience the above-mentioned symptoms.

A mature cataract appears milky, white, or amber and symptoms drastically may affect your quality of life. If you still don't seek treatment, the cataract may harden and worsen, and treatment may be difficult.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts are often caused by age. The lens naturally hardens as it ages, which causes clouding. For this reason, about half of Americans have cataracts by the age of 75. However, many factors increase your risk of developing cataracts, developing worse cataracts, or developing cataracts earlier.

Like many problems, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption can increase your risk of cataracts. Some health problems, like diabetes, may also increase your risk, especially if you don't maintain/treat the disease. Injury to the eye (or past eye surgery) and frequent exposure to UV rays can also crease your risk.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

When cataracts first being to form, your doctor may recommend getting glasses or changing your prescription to better clarify the image. Increasing visibility at home with light can also help. However, as cataracts progress, glasses and extra light no longer work.

Surgical treatments are the only way to eliminate cataracts, but there are multiple types of cataract surgery. They all require the removal of the old cornea and the placement of a new artificial one. The surgery is incredibly common and usually has few complications.

Cataracts may start small, but they can quickly cause severe vision impairment. This may prevent you from driving, getting out with friends, visiting family, and much more, which can reduce your quality of life. If you would like to know more, contact a provider in your area today.