A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. That crystal clear lens slowly clouds over time as part of the natural aging process. We should all be so lucky to develop cataracts in our lifetime, as this would mean we have lived a long and healthy life.
Cataracts will gradually worsen over time and will eventually interfere with normal vision. This can make every day tasks, like driving (especially at night) and reading, incredibly difficult.
Causes of Cataracts
There are several causes of cataracts. They develop primarily because of normal aging, but also due to eye injuries and genetic disorders. These varying causes lead to different types of cataracts, which include:
• Nuclear Cataracts: This refers to cataracts that affect the center of the eyes lens.
• Cortical Cataracts: This refers to cataracts that affect the edges of the lens.
• Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts: This refers to cataracts that affect the back of the lens.
• Congenital Cataracts: This refers to cataracts you were born with.
For additional information on any specific form of cataracts, consult your eye doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts
• Blurred or blurry vision
• Yellowing or clouding of the lens
• Difficulty with night vision
• Sensitivity to light and glare
• Seeing “halos” around lights
• Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
• Fading or yellowing of colors
• Double vision in a single eye
If you feel you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Any sudden change in your vision is a serious medical condition that requires prompt medical attention from your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
While better lighting and stronger eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts in the short term, cataract surgery is the only truly effective treatment option available.
Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a new artificial lens. The procedure is fairly safe, but carries a risk of infection and bleeding. Surgery also increases the risk of retinal detachment.
However, if your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life, inhibiting you from performing normal daily tasks, cataract surgery is usually the best choice for trying to regain your sight. So if you feel it may be time to consider cataract surgery, contact your eye doctor to discuss your options. You can also turn to Anne Arundel Eye Center for additional information.
If you have any questions about what you have just read or if you would like to learn more about cataracts, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today!
Led by Dr. Boles, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.