Did you know more than half of adults over age 60 will suffer from cataracts to some degree? They are so common, in fact, that your eye doctor will check for this condition during routine vision exams. Not all cataracts are age-related, though. An eye doctor might notice cataracts in patients as young as 40 or 50. Cataracts tend to worsen with age unless they are treated through surgery.
Your vision is precious. It helps you see the beautiful colors around you and the faces of the people you love, and it allows you to participate in hobbies you love such as reading, watching TV, playing cards and even cooking and baking. If you or your eye doctor have noticed signs of cataracts, don't worry. There are treatments that are effective at removing cataracts so you can once again resume normal activities.
What Are Cataracts, and How Are They Detected?
Cataracts occur when protein in the eye builds up on the lens, preventing light from passing through. This can cause your vision to become cloudy. You can think of it like trying to look through a fogged-up window.
Your eye doctor will test for cataracts with an eye exam that might include an eye-chart test, which is designed to measure how well you see at varying distances. He or she might also perform a dilated-eye exam, in which drops that dilate the pupils are inserted into your eyes. They can then use a magnifying device to get a better look at your eye. Your eye doctor might also screen for cataracts using tonometry, which measures the amount of pressure inside your eye. Your doctor will go over each test with you before it is performed.
Who is At Risk for Developing Cataracts?
Certain risk factors can affect your chances of developing this condition. If you have diabetes, have used steroid medications for long periods of time, are a smoker or heavy drinker, or have had a traumatic eye injury, you might face an increased risk of cataracts. Others have had prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight or radiation, which could also be a risk factor for cataracts. Stay vigilant by getting regular check-ups from your eye doctor.
What Are the Early Symptoms?
You should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Sensitivity to light
- Halos around light sources
- Faded or yellowed colors
- Double vision in one eye
- Frequent changes in vision-related prescriptions
Be sure to mention all symptoms you are experiencing to your doctor so he or she can provide the most comprehensive treatment. Early treatment is ideal for cataracts.
How are Cataracts Treated?
Once cataracts begin to form, it is important to consider available treatment options. Cataract surgery is highly effective. More than 2 million people have opted for this solution, making it one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the country. The procedure takes only 15 minutes. After it is completed, you'll be free to go on with your day.
During the procedure, the eye doctor will remove the clouded lens and replace it with a permanent artificial lens. The area around your eye will be numbed with local anesthetic. Typically, patients stay awake during the procedure. Afterward, you might experience some itchiness, mild discomfort or both. Minor fluid discharge is possible. You might be more sensitive to light and touch in the days immediately following surgery. After one or two days, discomfort should dissipate.
If you are looking for eye care in Orem Utah, give the Cataract & LASIK Center of Utah a call at 801-224-6767. We've provided our community with comprehensive eye care since 1981. Our state-of-the-art facility features the advanced technology that's necessary to ensure you have great vision care throughout your lifetime. We have the friendliest team and the most experienced surgeons. Come see for yourself!