According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older. By the age of 80, more than half of all Americans will have a cataract. It’s a natural part of the aging process. As we get older, our eyes get older too. Viola! That’s how cataracts form. Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite as simple as that.
How Do Cataracts Form?
A cataract occurs when there is a buildup of proteins in the lens, creating protein clumps. These clumps, or deposits, prevent light from passing clearly through the lens, thus disrupting normal vision. A patient with a cataract cannot see images clearly. Instead, images appear cloudy or blurry, especially at night.
There are several reasons why a cataract may form, the most common, of course, is aging. Other reasons include:
Another common cause of cataracts is trauma: blunt or penetrating ocular trauma, electric shock, chemical burns, or ionizing radiation. A traumatic cataract can develop even years after these types of eye injuries. Click Here to learn more.
Did you know that people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts? This type of cataract is known as a subcapsular cataract or “secondary cataract.” Click Here to learn more.
While cataracts are normally associated with the aging process, there are instances of cataracts in newborns. These congenital cataracts can develop for a number of different reasons, including inherited tendencies, infection (such as measles or rubella), metabolic problems, diabetes, trauma, inflammation or drug reactions. Click Here to learn more.
Cataract Signs and Symptoms
Cataract symptoms include:
- Blurred or blurry vision
- Halos around lights in the dark
- Increased nearsightedness
- Sudden changes in glasses prescription
- Identifying colors can be difficult
- Double vision (like a superimposed image)
If you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms of cataracts, it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – as soon as possible, but don’t worry. Cataracts are very treatable and cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the country.
Cataract Treatment in Annapolis
The Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC) is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. A consultation with board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles will help guide you through the treatment process and help you determine when cataract surgery makes the most sense for you.
Dr. Boles utilizes the LenSx® Laser, the most technologically advanced option for cataract patients today, to create a cataract surgery that’s 100% unique to each patient.
If you have any questions about Cataract Treatment or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC), please contact Board Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or Click Here to fill out our contact form.
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For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.