Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for developing cataracts. It is a normal part of aging. As we grow older, our eyes undergo natural wear and tear, resulting in the clouding of the eye’s lens, better known as cataracts. In fact, nearly half of all adults will develop cataracts by age 80. There are several factors, however, that can increase one’s risk of developing cataracts. These risk factors include:
- Aging: As we have already mentioned, aging is a major factor for cataracts.
- Genetics: If you have a family history of cataracts, you are more likely to develop cataracts, yourself.
- Diabetes: The high blood sugar (glucose) associated with Diabetes can damage the lens of the eye, making individuals with Diabetes more susceptible to cataracts.
- Smoking: Smoking can lead to the formation of chemicals called free radicals, which can damage the eye’s lens.
- Infections during Pregnancy: Certain infections during pregnancy, like rubella or chickenpox, can put the infant at risk for developing cataracts before birth.
- UVB Exposure: Ultraviolet B (UVB) has been linked to cataract development.
- Steroid Medication: High doses of steroids or long-term use can increase one’s risks for cataracts.
Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts
- Blurred or blurry vision
- Yellowing (clouding) of the eye’s lens
- Difficulty with night vision
- Sensitivity to light
- “Halos” around lights
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Double vision in only one eye
If you feel you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – ophthalmologist or optometrist – as soon as possible. But do not worry. Cataracts are very treatable.
If the symptoms of cataracts persist, surgery is an excellent option for most individuals. Cataract surgery is a quick outpatient procedure involving the replacing of the damaged or clouded lens with a new synthetic lens. The surgery typically only takes about 10 minutes and most patients can resume their everyday activities in very little time. Many can even drive a few days following cataract surgery.
Plus, cataract surgery has the highest success rate of any surgery practiced today.
To learn more about Cataracts or Cataract Surgery, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, our state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.