Cataracts: What Everybody Needs to Know
If you are a female, or you are over the age of 60, you are at an increased risk for developing cataracts. Cataracts are quite common, with an estimated three million new cases each year in this country. While not painful, cataracts can lead to a debilitating loss of vision if left ignored or untreated. Our optometrists at Advanced Eyecare in Las Vegas want everyone to know the following about cataracts:
Cataracts are cloudy formations of protein in the natural lenses of the eyes. They develop slowly and significantly impact overall vision over time.
Risk Factors for Cataracts
There are other risk factors for cataracts besides gender and age. Some other things that contribute to the likelihood of developing cataracts include:
- Unhealthy diet
- History of diabetes
- Family history of cataracts
- UV light exposure
- High blood pressure
- Certain prescription medications
- Eye trauma
- Eye surgery
- Alcohol use
The only way to diagnose cataracts is to have an eye care professional examine your eyes. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to have your eyes dilated during annual eye exams, though it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient to do so.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts form slowly, and can be easily mistaken for other age-related vision issues. You may notice cloudy or blurred vision that fluctuates and that makes your eyeglasses or contacts useless. You may also see halos around bright lights and have difficulty driving or seeing at night. Those with cataracts are particularly sensitive to bright light and glare, though the condition is not necessarily painful. Also, advanced symptoms of cataracts include a yellowing of vision and double vision.
Cataract Treatment and Prognosis
The only cure for cataracts is surgical removal. Typically, cataracts can be treated with an outpatient surgical procedure. During this operation, the cloudy lens is removed from your eye and a new, artificial lens is replaced. If you have cataracts in both eyes, generally, your eye doctor will schedule the two surgeries about a month apart to allow ample time for healing in-between. However, as cataracts develop slowly, there are many non-surgical treatment options available to reduce their symptoms. Prescription eyewear is sufficient to counteract the blurry vision caused by cataracts until the condition has progressed significantly.
Are you at-risk for Cataracts? Do you have symptoms? Call for an exam appointment today.
If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, visit our optometry clinic and speak with one of our optometrists today. Speak to our eye care professionals at Advanced Eyecare in Las Vegas to schedule your appointment today.