The lens of your eye is composed of a transparent, flexible tissue that bends light that enters your eye so that you can discern images, read, and see the world around you. This lens, in its healthy, natural state, is clear. This allows the light to move freely through and for you to see without any visual disturbances. Cataracts occur when that lens becomes cloudy. As the condition worsens, it gets harder and harder for the light to pass through and your eyesight worsens.
What are the risks associated with cataracts?
Cataracts can cause visual disturbances like blurry vision and double vision. Colors are less vibrant, and vision can be hazy. Over time, it can lead to vision loss, which can be serious if left untreated and in severe cases can cause blindness.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts are a degenerative disease that progresses slowly. The early signs may be barely noticeable, but will worsen over time. Common symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light (can be severe)
- Double vision
- Colors appear faded or yellow
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Difficulty seeing in low light
What causes cataracts?
The most common cause of cataracts is age. Most people begin to experience eye changes around the age of 40 as the proteins that exist in the lens begin breaking down. This is what causes the cloudiness and is usually very gradual. Discernable clouding of the lens begins around age 60, although it can start earlier to many years later.
Certain factors can also put a person in a high-risk category for cataracts – and these cataracts can progress more rapidly than those that are age-related. These include:
- A family member who has cataracts
- Having an eye injury in the past
- Having radiation treatment on the upper portion of the body
- Certain medical conditions like diabetes
- History of spending a lot of time in the sun without proper eye protection
- Past eye surgery
- Taking corticosteroids or other medications
What is the treatment for cataracts?
The treatment for cataracts is actually quite simple. Cataract surgery is the most common and most effective treatment. The surgeon removes the affected lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (an artificial lens for the eye). It is a common surgery that is short (about 20 minutes) and has a very brief recovery time. It is safe, effective, and has a 95% success rate.
Cataracts are treatable, and you can experience improved vision if you address the problem early on. If you have cataracts, or would like more information about the disease, contact Florida Eye Specialists today. Our team of eye care professionals have performed more than 25,000 cataract procedures and have a combined 30 years of practice. We also utilize the cutting-edge femtosecond laser, which allows our doctors to map out the surgery on a computer beforehand and create a precise and accurate incision with the laser.
Contact us today to learn more about treatment options for Cataracts.