Cataracts are a common eye condition affecting millions of people worldwide. While cataracts can be age-related, they can also occur due to injury or medical conditions. Fortunately, cataract treatments are very effective in restoring vision. Here's what you need to know about cataracts, signs you or a loved one may be developing cataracts, and treatment options.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts form when proteins in the lens of your eye become cloudy or opaque. This cloudiness blocks light from entering the eye, causing your vision to blur or appear foggy. Cataracts typically develop slowly over time and are more common among older adults. However, anyone can develop them at any age.
What Are Signs of Cataract Development?
The most obvious sign of developing cataracts is blurred vision that is not corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Other common signs include:
- Seeing double images in one eye only
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Difficulty reading at night
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- Fading colors or yellowing vision
- Halos around lights
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see an ophthalmologist right away for an evaluation.
What Are Cataract Treatment Options?
Luckily, there are several effective treatments for cataracts, depending on the severity of your condition and overall health history. The most common treatment is surgery, which involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area around your eyes so you won't feel any pain during the procedure. The surgery is quick, and the recovery time is minimal. You may need to wear a patch or special sunglasses temporarily as part of your recovery process.
What Are the Benefits of Cataract Surgery?
The benefits of cataract surgery vary from person to person but generally include:
- Improved clarity
- Return of vision sharpness
- Brighter colors
- Less glare when driving at night
Additionally, many people report feeling safer when engaging in certain activities, such as walking down a flight of stairs, after successful cataract surgery since their vision has been restored to its original level.
Cataracts can cause a lot of frustration due to blurry or distorted vision, but here are several treatments options available to restore your sight. If you think you might have a developing cataract or notice any changes in your vision, make sure you see an ophthalmologist for an evaluation. With timely diagnosis and proper cataract treatment, patients have improved vision and quality of life.
For more information about cataract treatment, contact a doctor.