What you need to know about cataracts
- Posted on: Dec 15 2020
More than half of all Americans age 60 and older will have a cataract, which is a painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Over time, cataracts can interfere with everyday activities such as reading and driving. As cataracts progress, you may find you need surgery. Read on to learn more about cataracts and treatment, and what you can do to reduce your risk for developing this eye condition.
Cataracts develop slowly but will progressively lead to painless loss of your vision. Other symptoms include blurry vision, double vision, a feeling as if there is a film over the eye, trouble with night vision, fading of color, increased sensitivity to glare, halos surrounding lights, yellow-tinged vision and a need to frequently change eyeglass prescriptions.
Aging is a primary risk factor for developing cataracts. Other risk factors include a family history of cataracts, excessive sun exposure, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol use, previous eye injury or surgery, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications and radiation from x-rays and cancer treatments. Rarely, some people are born with cataracts or a birth defect that causes them.
There is no way to prevent cataracts, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them, including consuming a healthy diet high in antioxidants, not smoking or drinking excessively, wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays, and wearing wide-brimmed hats that block sunlight. Also be sure to schedule regular eye exams to diagnose cataracts in their earliest stages to start treatment.
Once cataracts are diagnosed, depending on where you are in the development of cataracts, conservative treatments such as new corrective-lens prescriptions, anti-glare sunglasses, magnifying lenses and using brighter lighting may be indicated. Cataract surgery may be recommended if your cataracts interfere with reading, night driving and other daily activities. Surgery is done on one eye at a time about 4-8 weeks apart if you have cataracts in both eyes.
Left untreated, cataracts can lead to serious visual impairment. To learn more about cataracts, contact our Everett office at (425) 259-2020.
Posted in: Cataract