When we get older our body ages at the same time, including our eyes! Once the normal crystalline lens suffers these changes, then cataracts can form and develop. This means simply that the lens isn’t as flexible or as clear as it once was and light can’t be focused on properly by the eye. There are plenty of treatments that you can enjoy and this diagnosis can also develop due to other eye issues, but it most often happens due to age.
What is a cataract?
Easily defined, a cataract is when the crystalline lens of the eyes ages or is affected by other eye issues. It will happen with age and most of us, if not all, will have some level of cataracts before we turn 65. However, age is one of the most common reasons for cataracts developing, but there are also some other common reasons as well. Some of them include eye injuries, excessive intake of various steroid medicines, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Symptoms to look for
There are plenty of symptoms that you should be aware of, but they might be slight or hard to detect. However, if you have any huge changes in your vision, then you should have them checked out by your optometrist. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms include:
- Double vision in one eye
- Dimming or other changes in color vision
- Bad night vision
- Frequent changes in prescription for contacts or glasses
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Blurred or clouded vision
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then ensure that you get your eyes checked out to ensure that the treatment can be undertaken as soon as possible. The sooner that the diagnosis is determined and the treatment is started can you figure out which treatment will be the best for you.
If you think that you or someone that you know is suffering from cataracts, then you need to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist that will help you to determine the extent of the problem. The ophthalmologist is the doctor who can do the surgery and has specialized in medicine along with eye surgery. You should visit the optometrist who can help you to diagnose the extent of the cataract and start you on the treatment. They would be the one who would refer you to the ophthalmologist should surgery need to take place.
Eyeglasses and sunglasses
One of the most common methods for trying to treat cataracts early is by changing up the eyeglass prescription or by wearing sunglasses. You might be given a higher power eyeglasses that have anti-glare or even prescription sunglasses that will also have the anti-glare coating. Also, another method is for the affected individual to use a magnifying glass, which can help them to read small text or to help them to see clearly. This is just one of the methods that they try first to ensure that surgery isn’t required, but it doesn’t always work for everyone, especially if the cataracts are severe.
This is the only method that you can use to get rid of the cataracts if the rest of the treatments fail. This surgery will be performed by a certified eye surgeon and it is a process that will have the old cloudy lens taken out of the eye and replaced with a clear artificial plastic lens. Most often these surgeries are done as an outpatient process with local anesthetic, which will mean that the patient doesn’t have to stay in the hospital overnight. The surgeon will dilate the pupils of the eye with some eye drops right before the start of the procedure, which might also have the anesthetic in it as well. During the operation the patient shouldn’t be able to feel any pain, but will only see a bright light and nothing else.
Cataracts can increase in severity over time, which means that the sooner that they are diagnosed the better. Once it has been diagnosed, then the treatment can start, including with changing up the prescription glasses or sunglasses to see if surgery can be prevented. If it can’t then the surgery would need to take place to allow the patient to be able to see clearly and to keep the issue from progressing and getting worse.