Cataracts are a very common condition of the eye. If you are over 60 and your vision is cloudy, there is a chance that you have cataracts. The most common cause of this condition is age. However, there are some cases where children are born with congenital cataracts because of an infection or poor prenatal development. This type of cataract is rare. It is also possible to develop cataracts as a result of medical conditions like diabetes, radiation exposure, UV light, and certain medications.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are an eye condition that develops when protein builds up on the lens of your eye. When this happens, it will prevent light from passing through your eye clearly.
What Are the Symptoms Of Cataracts?
The symptoms of cataracts often come on gradually. The most common symptom is cloudy vision. Many people who have cataracts compare it to looking out of a dirty window. Other symptoms include:
- Nearsightedness in older people
- Changes in your color vision
- Difficulty driving at night
- Issues with glare
- Double vision in the affected eye
- Noticing that your glasses or contacts are no longer working properly
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Your optometrist can diagnose cataracts during your annual eye exam. If your vision is tested and it has become much worse, your optometrist might suspect cataracts. They will also dilate your pupil to check the condition of the lens.
What Is the Treatment for Cataracts?
In the early stages, your optometrist will likely give you a stronger prescription. This will treat the symptoms. If your symptoms start to affect your daily life, your eye doctor might recommend surgery. The surgery is routine and is done on an outpatient basis. For the first few days before the surgery, you would be given eye drops to prepare your eye for the surgery. It is essential that you use them. You will remain awake during the procedure, but your eye doctor will give you something to relax. During the surgery, the doctor will remove your old, clouded lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens. After the procedure, you’ll be required to wear a pair of dark colored sunglasses home and for the next few days. You will also need to continue administering your eye drops.
A few weeks after the procedure, you will see your eye doctor for a follow up examination. At this point, you will be given a new eyeglasses prescription.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of cataracts, make an appointment with Montana Eyecare in Helena. Our doctors of optometry will give you an eye exam to determine if you have cataracts. If you do, we will create a plan to best treat your condition. Because the symptoms of cataracts mimic the symptoms of other more serious eye conditions, regular eye care is essential.