Cataracts: What Are They and How Do They Impact Vision?
Has your vision become cloudy or foggy over the years? Have you noticed colors don’t appear as bright or vibrant as they used to? Are you experiencing glare or halos around lights? If so, you may have a cataract in one or both of your eyes.
In this article, you'll learn what cataracts are, who is most at risk, and how the disease is managed.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a very common condition where the lens in your eye – similar to the lens of a camera lens – clouds up. This can lead to blurry vision, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Who is most at risk of cataracts?
If you live long enough, you'll develop cataracts. The disease occurs with age, however, can occur earlier in life if you are on certain medications, have diabetes, or had a significant eye injury.
The best way to prevent the early development of cataracts is to eat well and to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful light.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Cataracts are diagnosed under the slit lamp during a comprehensive or medical eye exam.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, it’s common for us to monitor their progression until they’ve advanced to the point where you’re ready for cataract surgery.
If you need cataract surgery, keep in mind that it is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world and is a very safe procedure!
What to expect during cataract surgery
Before your surgery, your surgeon will answer any questions you have and go over your best options to meet your visual demands.
During your surgery, your surgeon will safely remove the cloudy lens inside your eye and replace it with a clear lens implant.
Shortly after your surgery, you’re prescribed antibiotic and steroid eye drops, safe to be driven home, and instructed to follow up with your surgeon as directed.
If you have cataracts in both of your eyes, your surgeon will perform surgery on one eye first! After they’ve ensured proper healing of this eye, they’ll perform surgery on your other eye (if necessary).
Concerned you may have or be at risk of having cataracts?
Schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors of optometry today!