Cataracts are a common condition that affects the eyes and is characterized by the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. This clouding can cause blurry vision, glare, and difficulty seeing at night. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes and are typically a result of aging, but they can also be caused by injury, certain medical conditions, or long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurred vision
- Glare, especially at night
- Double vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Cataracts are diagnosed by one of our optometrists during a comprehensive eye exam. Additional testing, such as a visual acuity test or a dilated eye exam, may be performed to assess the severity of the cataract.
Treatment for cataracts typically involves surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens. This procedure is known as cataract surgery and is considered one of the most performed and successful surgeries in the world. It is typically done on an outpatient basis and recovery time is usually short.
In some cases, when the cataract is not severely impacting vision, eyeglasses or contact lenses may be used to improve vision.
Preventing cataracts is not possible, but avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun can reduce the risk of cataract development.
It is important to note that cataracts can develop gradually over time and may not cause symptoms at first. Regular eye exams are important for early detection and treatment of cataracts to prevent vision loss. Cataract surgery can restore vision and improve quality of life.