What Is A Cataract?
Are you over the age of 40? Are you starting to experience double vision?
Once you turn 40, your risk of developing cataracts increases. Double vision is only one of the symptoms tied to cataracts.
Understanding what cataracts are can be complicated. Keep reading to learn more about what is a cataract!
What are cataracts?
When the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy, it’s due to proteins in the lens building up. When this happens, the lens becomes harder to see through and becomes a cataract over time.
Without cataracts, the lens is clear and easy to see through. But when you have cataracts, it may be like trying to look through a dirty window.
If your vision is foggy, it becomes harder to drive, especially at night. Cataracts also make it challenging to do detail-oriented tasks like sewing or reading. As people age, cataracts become more and more common.
Initially, cataracts start off small. They may not even affect your vision at this point. Over time, your cataracts will grow slowly.
As your cataracts develop, they will start to impact your vision. The best way to monitor your cataract growth is to get frequent eye exams.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
There are many symptoms tied to cataracts. Some of them include:
- Foggy, blurry, or faint vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Developing light sensitivity
- Seeing glare or halos around lights
- Needing stronger lights for reading or other detail-oriented tasks
- Experiencing double vision in one eye
- Realizing that colors look faded or yellow
- Needing frequently changing glasses or contact lens prescriptions within a short period of time
When cataracts are small, using more intense light or having a new prescription can help patients with cataracts see clearly. Smaller cataracts only take up a small part of the eye’s lens.
These adjustments can help temporarily. Once your cataracts are larger and impact your vision, talk to your eye doctor about cataract surgery. Most recommend having the procedure when you can no longer enjoy your hobbies and life due to your cataracts. Cataract surgery is very common, safe, and has a high success rate.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
To diagnose cataracts, your eye doctor will run a few non-invasive tests. These tests measure the thickness of your cataracts, vision, glare, and refraction.
After performing these tests, your eye doctor will discuss treatment options. If your cataracts are small, then it might not be necessary to get cataract surgery.
However, if they cannot be treated with a new prescription for glasses or other methods, then cataract surgery is a great option. Once you remove them, you’ll have clear vision once more.
Cataracts do not grow back after removing them because the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one.
Are cataracts preventable?
No, there is no way to promise that you’ll never develop cataracts or that they are preventable. There are a few things that doctors know are beneficial if you want to reduce your chance of developing them early on.
- Wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors to protect your eyes
- Stop smoking if you’re a smoker
- Managing other health conditions
- Living an active lifestyle
- Eating a balanced diet
- Decreasing your alcohol intake
- Seeing your eye doctor for frequent eye exams
Even if you follow these recommendations, there is still no guarantee that you will not develop cataracts in your forties or fifties. They are a part of aging!
Do you think that you have cataracts? Schedule a cataract screening at Complete EyeCare West in Columbus, OH today to find out!
Isn’t it time to know with certainty if you have cataracts or not?