April 28, 2022
Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects older adults. You may not notice them until they start blocking the light and causing visual problems. They form slowly and are the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
They are the cumulative effects of clouding that appear on your clear, natural lens as you age. Although cataracts are common in older people, they can also develop in younger people. They form in younger people with health issues like diabetes or a family history of cataracts. By the age of 80, almost everyone has some form of cataract formation.
Cataracts progress slowly and eventually cause vision impairment. It is crucial to talk to your doctor when you notice vision changes. The most common symptom of cataracts is a slightly blurry area in your line of vision. It gets progressively blurrier with time.
You may also experience color changes in your lens. It makes everything look brownish or yellowish. You may eventually have trouble distinguishing between shades of different colors. Other symptoms of cataracts include:
Poor night vision
Sensitivity to light
Halos around the eyes
Frequently changing your prescription lenses
Surgery is the only way to reverse cataracts. However, you may not need to get it right away. If the doctor discovers it in the early stage, there are several things they may recommend first instead.
The doctor may prescribe prescription lenses. A strong lens will improve your vision for a while. You can also get special glasses with an anti-glare coating if your eyes are sensitive to light. They will also help you drive at night. Make sure that your prescription lenses stay up to date.
At home, you may need to make several adjustments. These include using brighter lights, magnifying lenses for reading, and wearing anti-glare sunglasses. They will protect your eyes from halos and allow you to read.
When outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. It will help to shade your eyes from the glare of the sun. You can also limit your night driving. Otherwise, you can end up being a danger to yourself and other road users.
If you have health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of cataracts, you need to be careful. Get comprehensive eye exams every year. The doctor can advise you on treating any presenting signs of cataracts.
If you are on medication, make sure you take them and follow your treatment plan. It will help you slow down the progression of the condition.
When cataracts start getting in the way of your daily activities, they need to go. These activities include reading, watching television, and driving. There are several types of operations for cataracts, but they all have one thing in common - the doctor removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial one.
The doctor makes a small incision to remove the cataract-affected lens. They replace it with a small plastic intraocular lens. The surgery needs no stitches, and recovery is within days. Once the natural lens has been removed, cataracts cannot develop.
For more on cataracts and how they are treated, contact Maine Coast Eye Care at our office in Rockport, Maine. You can call (207) 887-0022 to book an appointment today.