Cataracts are a very common condition of the eye. Most people will develop cataracts by the time they are 70-years-old. Fortunately, cataracts can be treated by the professionals at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we hear at our office.
Q: What Are Cataracts?
A: Cataracts are a condition that occurs due to changes in the eye tissues as a result of age. It causes the natural lens of your eye that should be clear, to become cloudy.
Q: What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
A: The symptoms of cataracts often come on gradually. In the early stages, you may not experience any symptoms at all. As the condition progresses, the symptoms include:
- Vision compared to looking out a dirty window
- Blurry vision
- Dim vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Seeing colors less bright or yellow
- Frequently needing a new eyeglass prescription
- Needing brighter lights when reading
- Double vision in one eye
Q: Who Is at Risk for Cataracts?
A: Anyone can develop cataracts as they get older. However, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing cataracts.
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive exposure to sunlight without proper protection
- Previous eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medication
Q: How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
A: Cataracts can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Your optometrist will perform a visual acuity test to determine if your vision has worsened, which is a symptom of cataracts. Your optometrist will also perform a slit-lamp exam, which can help them detect even the smallest abnormalities. Finally, a retinal exam would be performed, where your eyes would be dilated so that your optometrist can get a good look at your retina. Your eye doctor will be able to detect cataracts during any of these tests.
Q: How Are Cataracts Treated?
A: In the early stages, a simple change in your eyeglass prescription will be all you need to treat your symptoms. When the symptoms worsen, and they begin to affect your everyday life, your eye doctor will discuss cataract surgery with you.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery that is performed in a hospital or a medical center. During the procedure, your eye doctor will remove your cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. The lens that your doctor chooses would depend on your refractive error. You will remain awake during the procedure, but you will be given a sedative to help you relax.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
It is essential that you schedule annual appointments with Chapel Hill Ophthalmology. Many conditions of the eye, including cataracts, show no early symptoms; therefore, regular eye care is necessary. To schedule an appointment with our doctor of optometry, give us a call today at 919-942-8701.