If a normally clear lens of your eye begins to become cloudy and opaque you may be suffering from a Cataract. These small areas of cloudiness or large opaque areas may cause highly noticeable blurring of vision. Cataracts are generally found in people over the age of 60 and are a result aging; however there are some cases of cataracts in younger people and newborns. When a child is born with a cataract it is medically referred to as a congenital cataract.
Cloudiness of cataracts is a sign of aging changes in your eyes which can be hereditary, an injury or signs of disease. Excessive exposure to cigarette smoke, ultraviolet radiation or certain medications can raise the factor of risk in developing cataracts. They will usually develop in both eyes at different rates as a sign of advancing age.
What are the signs of Cataracts?
Blurred or hazy vision can be a symptom of developing cataracts assuming that it cannot be corrected by a prescription change in one’s glasses. Also, a feeling of having a film over the eyes that cannot be subdued by blinking can be an indicator of cataracts. You may experience an increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night, and a temporary change in near and/or far distance vision. Cataracts can develop with no pain or redness which makes it necessary to be attending a regular Optometry checkup to ensure that you can nip cataract development in the bud.
How do I treat Cataracts?
If you are in the early stages of Cataract development and your vision is only affected minimally, Drs. Tod Davis and Amy can sometimes reassess your glasses prescription in order to sharpen your vision. If the Cataracts begin to get in the way of daily life and glasses do not help, we can refer you to an Ophthalmologist who can further assess if you are in need of surgical removal of your Cataracts.
What is involved in Cataract surgery?
The time it takes to develop Cataracts varies between cases, sometimes they may develop slowly over years and in some cases they form rapidly. Similarly, some cases never develop to the point that they require surgical removal. Surgery is required once glasses can no longer provide vision correction.
In surgery, your old cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant that will serve as your ‘new lens.’ In some cases of lens replacement, eye sight can provide adequate enough distance vision that glasses are not necessary any longer; however, you will still need reading glasses to assist with near sight. About four weeks after lens implant surgery, we would recommend setting an appointment at one our convenient locations to receive a new prescription lens for your glasses.
There is a wide spectrum of Cataracts that affect vision; from the very harmful to barely noticeable differences in near or farsightedness. Either way, it is imperative that you visit an eye doctor regularly in order to keep your vision as sharp as possible and maintain a proper assessment of your eye health.