What Are Cataracts: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. They are common among older adults, and you may not notice them until they start blocking light and causing vision loss. By this time, it is too late to take any precautions. But if you catch them early, you stand a chance of treating them.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a clouding in the usually clear, natural lens of your eye. It causes blurry vision as you grow older, making it hard to see, read, and go about your daily activities. Although cataracts are common in older people, they can also develop in younger people.
It happens in young people with health issues like diabetes or a family history of cataracts. As everyone grows old, they will develop some form of cataract formation on their natural lens.
Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts form with time from the breakdown of proteins in the eye. They clump together, causing the clouding in your natural eye lens. The cloudiness continues as the clumping increases. At this point, it is good to discuss treatment with your doctor. Sometimes, it may require the removal of cataracts. Removing them earlier will help you before they complicate surgery.
Cataracts progress slowly, and you may not notice them as they cause visual impairment. They may cause color changes to your lens, causing everything to look yellowish or brownish. The most common symptom is the appearance of a blurry area in your line of vision. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty reading.
- Halos around the eyes.
- Poor night vision.
- Double vision.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Frequent changes of prescription lenses.
The only permanent solution to cataracts is surgery. However, you may not need to get it right away. Before your doctor recommends it, they may recommend several other options. Among these are lifestyle changes that will slow down the development of cataracts. They include:
These may be the first options your doctor prescribes. It means you will have to make several adjustments to your house. You may have to put in brighter lights. You may also use magnifying lenses or special glasses when reading. When you step out into the sun, you will need to wear sunglasses. They will protect your eye from harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage the proteins in your lens.
A strong lens may improve your vision for a while. These special glasses can have an anti-glare coating that will help you when you are driving at night. It is also helpful if your eyes are sensitive to light. Always make sure to stay up to date with your prescription lenses.
Go for comprehensive eye exams every year. If you have health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of cataracts, you need to be careful. The doctor can advise you on treating any presenting signs of cataracts. For diabetes, you must keep your blood sugar in check. The lens turns the blood sugar into sorbitol, which accumulates and makes it hard to see clearly.
Surgery is the last option. It will help you manage the condition and improve the quality of your life. You will be able to drive more comfortably. It also ensures that you are confident on the road and safer.
For more information on cataracts, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can call (914) 948-5157 today to schedule an appointment