A cataract occurs when there is clouding of the lens part of one’s eye that is supposed to be clear. Cataracts make the person feel as if they are looking through a foggy, steamed up window and can largely affect their day-to-day life. From driving one’s car to reading a book or a sign, to communicating with others, this clouded vision caused by cataracts can truly damper the quality of one’s life.
Cataracts have a tendency to develop slowly, and immediate symptoms won’t put a huge strain on one’s vision. However, over time, they will become worse and make seeing clearly more and more difficult. In the beginning stages of cataracts, certain glasses and lighting can help negate the side effects, but as soon as cataracts begin to interfere with your day-to-day activities, it may be time to visit your eye center in Arlington to discuss cataract surgery with your optometrist.
What are the causes of cataracts?
Cataracts are most commonly caused by the natural aging process. Damage to the tissue of the eye lens via injury can also cause cataracts. Some people who have inherited certain genetic disorders will have an increased risk of cataracts. While the lens is mostly composed of water and protein, doctors believe that changes to those proteins and the dulling of the flexibility of the lens is what results in the clouded vision. Other causes of cataracts include:
- Family history
- Certain eye conditions
- Prolonged use of certain corticosteroid medications
- Eye surgery
- Eye injury
What factors can increase one’s risk of cataracts?
There are other factors that can contribute to the risk that one will develop cataracts and these include:
- Poor diet
- Excessive amounts of alcohol
- Excessive sunlight exposure
- High blood pressure
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Some people will experience different symptoms at different stages in the progression of cataracts, however, in general, the symptoms of cataracts include:
- Cloudy vision
- Blurry vision
- Foggy or fuzzy vision
- Filmy vision
- A visual cloudiness of the pupil
- Increases sensitivity to glare from lights
- Worsened far away vision but an improvement in near vision
- Dampened color vision
- Poor vision in bright sunlight
- Double vision
- Seeing halos around lights
- Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contacts prescriptions
What are the preventative measures that can be taken to avoid developing cataracts?
While there are no proven methods to slow down the progression of cataracts, there are however certain steps to take to help with the prevention of them. Having regular eye exams (at least once a year) will ensure that your doctor is able to catch cataracts or other eye conditions in the early stages which can slow down progression or better your chances of having healthier long-term vision.
Managing your overall health will also help such as quitting smoking, quitting excessive drinking, maintaining a healthy diet and taking care of any other medical conditions you may suffer from. You can also take care of your eyes by always wearing UV-protective sunglasses.
What are the treatments for cataracts?
In the beginning stages of cataracts, your doctor will possibly suggest stronger glasses to help you see better with your cataracts. However, when your symptoms start to impair your day to day activities, then the only “cure” for cataracts is going to be cataract surgery. This type of surgery to fix cataracts is extremely common and very successful in the restoration of vision. If you think you may be suffering from cataracts you should call or come visit our nearby vision center in Arlington.
Here at First Eye Care North Arlington, we know all there is to know about vision and we have some of the best doctors around. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.