A cataract is a cloudy eye. As you age, cataracts become more common. More than half of Americans aged 80 and older have cataracts.
You may not be aware that you have cataracts at first. Over time, cataracts can cause blurred vision, haziness, and less color. It is possible to have difficulty reading and performing other daily activities.
The good news about cataract surgery is that it can remove them. Cataract surgery can correct vision problems caused by cataracts and is safe.
What are The Different Types of Cataracts?
Most cataracts are caused by age. They occur due to normal changes in the eyes as you age. You can also get cataracts after an eye injury, or surgery for another eye problem (such as glaucoma).
The treatment for any type of cataract is surgery.
Did You Know These Amazing Facts About Cataract?
- Cataracts can be present in either one or both eyes. However, they cannot spread from one eye into the other.
- Most people have cataracts by age 80 or had cataract surgery.
- Cataract surgery in the United States is one of the most popular operations.
Cataract Surgery Procedures
Although it may seem daunting, cataract surgery is very common and can be done as an outpatient procedure. Talk to an ophthalmologist, an eye doctor who performs surgeries, about your options and their recommendations.
An local anesthetic will be applied to the eye. A scan may also be done to remove the cataract. Although it is still surgery, the process is typically quick and painless.
An artificial lens can be used in other situations. You can expect to have two surgeries if you have cataracts in one eye. This will allow the first eye to heal fully before you proceed with the second. Your ophthalmologist will be able to provide further information about your specific needs.
What are the signs and symptoms of cataracts?
At first, you might not notice any symptoms because cataracts are mild. However, cataracts can cause vision changes as they grow. You might notice:
- Your vision is blurry or cloudy
- The colors look faded
- Night vision is not possible
- Too bright lamps, sunlight, and headlights.
- A halo appears around the lights
- The cataract can sometimes cause double vision.
- It is important to update your prescription frequently
These symptoms could also be signs of eye problems. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult your eye doctor.
Cataracts can eventually lead to vision loss.
Am I at risk for cataracts?
As you age, your risk of developing cataracts increases. If you are:
Have certain health problems, like diabetes
- Drink too much alcohol
- Do you have a family history with cataracts?
- You have had eye surgery, an eye injury, or radiation treatment to your upper body.
- You have spent a lot time in the sun
- Steroids (medicines that are used to treat a range of health issues, such as arthritis and rashes),
- Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about cataracts. Ask your doctor if you can lower your chances.
What causes cataracts?
Most cataracts can be explained by changes in the eyes that occur as you age.
The lens of your eye is clear when you are young. The proteins in your lens begin to break down around age 40 and clump together. The clump can cause a cloudy or cataract-like appearance to your lens. The cataract becomes more severe over time and cloud more of your lens.
What will my eye doctor do to check for cataracts in me?
As part of a dilated exam, an eye doctor can check for signs and symptoms such as cataracts. It is painless and simple. Your doctor will give you drops to dilate your pupil. Then, your doctor will check your eyes for any other eye problems.