A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. This happens as a result of age, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and due to any genetic predisposition to cataracts. Cataracts can occur at any age – even at birth, but most everyone has some degree of cataract formation by the 7th decade of life. Even though most people develop cataracts, surgery is only necessary when poor vision makes it difficult to do the activities that we need and want to do and if vision cannot be improved with a new glasses prescription.
The eye’s lens, located behind the iris and pupil, should focus light onto the retina and seamlessly adjust focus. When cataracts cloud the vision, the lens is rendered unable to effectively carry out its role in the vision process and light is scattered inefficiently.
Cataracts can be classified as nuclear, cortical, or subcapsular depending upon where they are located in the lens. The specific cause of cataracts is often impossible to diagnose in each case. Aging, family history, certain medical conditions like diabetes, and unprotected exposure to sunlight can be contributing factors.
Signs You Have Cataracts
- You have noticeable glare or halos around lights.
- You are having increasing difficulty seeing at night when you drive.
- You are having difficulty reading smaller print, road signs and/ or TV captions.
- Colors appear faded.
- You have blurry vision.
- You are more light sensitive.
- You have double vision.
As the lens changes, your glasses and/or contact lenses prescription can change to accommodate to the changes in the lens. Eventually, as the cataract formation progresses corrective lenses will no longer restore vision to your pre-cataract acuity. Once a cataract is discovered and is deemed to interfere with your ability to carry on daily functions, what’s the next step? The only way to effectively combat the negative effects of a cataract is to have cataract surgery to remove the eye’s natural cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens implant. The options for lens replacement are now more advanced than ever.
Cataract Surgery Risks
Cataract surgery is considered extremely safe. However, all surgeries carry some form of risk.
- An eye infection
- Artificial lens moving or becoming dislocated within the eye
- Bleeding or swelling in the eye
- Detachment of the retina
- Development of a secondary cataract
- Development of glaucoma or increased eye pressure
- Slight inflammation of the eye
- Sudden droop of the eyelid
Diabetes and Cataracts
The connection between diabetes and cataracts isn't fully understood. It appears individuals with diabetes are 60-percent more likely to develop cataracts than someone without diabetes.
To schedule your next eye exam to have your vision tested and to check for signs and symptoms of cataracts, contact us today.