A cataract is a cloudy, dense film that forms over the eye lens. It is caused by a clumping of proteins in the eye. Cataracts make it hard for the lens to send clear images to the retina. The individual feels like they are looking through a fogged-up window. Clouded vision due to cataracts can make it difficult to perform daily functions. Fortunately, surgery can help restore clear vision.
Causes of Cataracts
Several factors can lead to the development of cataracts. An overproduction of oxygen molecules, or oxidants, can lead to the growth of cataracts. The condition can result from trauma, ultraviolet radiation, smoking, radiation therapy, and long-term use of medications or steroids.
Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of developing cataracts. Types of cataracts include nuclear cataracts, posterior capsular cataracts, cortical cataracts, congenital cataracts, secondary cataracts, radiation cataracts, and traumatic cataracts.
Cataracts usually develop slowly over several years and, in most cases, develop in one eye before affecting the other. In the early stages, they do not interfere with eyesight. Wearing eyeglasses and using stronger lighting can help individuals deal with the condition as it worsens.
Over time, cataracts affect vision and interfere with an individual's activities. At this stage, surgery is usually recommended to correct the condition. The procedure is safe and effective, and it helps restore clear vision. Your doctor can help you determine the best time to get cataract surgery.
Symptoms of Cataracts
The symptoms of cataracts differ depending on the severity of the condition. They include:
Colors appear faded
Problems with night vision
Sensitivity to glare
Seeing halos around lights
Experiencing double vision
Frequent changes in prescription lenses
Risk Factors of Cataracts
Various factors can increase the risk of developing cataracts. They include:
Being a senior adult
Excessive consumption of alcohol
High blood pressure
Previous eye injuries
Too much sun exposure
Family history of cataracts
Exposure to radiation
Taking care of your eyes can help prevent the development of cataracts. Wearing sunglasses while outdoors to keep away harmful UV rays is vital. It also helps to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol consumption.
If you have diabetes, managing the condition can help protect your eye health. Scheduling regular eye exams is the best way to ensure you protect your vision and eye health. Exams detect cataracts in the early stages.
Age causes the eye lens to become thicker, less flexible, and less transparent. Age-related health conditions and other factors increase the risk of the formation of cataracts. Surgery is the only method to remove cataracts permanently.
After surgery, an IOL lens can be inserted to improve vision. In most cases, doctors recommend surgery in one eye first—the one with the more advanced cataracts. If you experience changes in your vision, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.
For more on the risk factors associated with developing cataracts, visit Clarke EyeCare Center at our Wichita Falls or Burkburnett, Texas, office. Call 940-905-0700 or 940-569-4131 to schedule an appointment today.