Cataracts are a relatively common condition of the eye. If you have cataracts or if you suspect that you have cataracts, there are a few things that you should know about the condition.
Q: What Are Cataracts?
A: The lens of your eye is normally clear. Cataracts occur when protein builds up on the lens, causing it to become cloudy.
Q: Who Is At Risk For Cataracts?
A: While anyone can get cataracts, there are a few factors that put you at higher risk.
- People in their 40s and 50s are at greater risk of getting cataracts.
- High blood pressure
- Excessive exposure to the light
- Previous eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
Q: What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
A: In the early stages, cataracts often show no symptoms. As the condition progresses, the symptoms include:
- Cloudy vision. People with cataracts compare their vision to looking out of a dirty window.
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
- Changes in your color vision
- Double vision in one eye
- Needing a brighter light when reading
Q: How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
A: Cataracts can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Your optometrist will test your vision and examine your eyes with a slit lamp microscope. This will allow them to look for problems with your lenses or other parts of the eye.
Q: How Are Cataracts Treated?
A: In the early stages of cataracts, your optometrist may recommend a stronger eyeglass prescription. If your condition has progressed, or if it is affecting your everyday life, cataract surgery might be necessary.
Cataract surgery is a common, outpatient procedure. Before the surgery, your eye doctor will give you drops that you will need to take up until the day of your surgery and after the surgery. You will be awake during the procedure, and your eye doctor will give you something to help you relax. During the procedure, your eye's natural lens would be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.
Two days after the procedure, you will see your eye doctor to make sure that you are healing properly. In about a month, you will see your eye doctor again to get a new eyeglass prescription.
Regular eye care is necessary to detect cataracts and other diseases of the eye in the early stages. This is why you should schedule annual eye exams with Positive Eye Ons in West Hollywood. Our doctor of optometry will perform a complete eye exam to be sure that you can see correctly and that your eyes are free of disease. If you need glasses, you can order them on the day of your visit.