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What To Know About Cataracts

Are you aware that cataracts are the most common source of deteriorating vision among those 55 and older? Actually, more than 50% of those 65 and older has at least some cataract development. And by the time they hit 80, it is anticipated that most people will have gotten a cataract, or will have already had one removed.

So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens within the eye; one which obstructs or changes the way light enters into the eye. This lens is immediately behind the pupil and iris, and is found within a sort of sac or capsule. The lens can become cloudy in several different areas so there are several different types of cataracts, with some causing more vision problems than others.   Cataracts cause symptoms of blurry vision and glare.  When the cataract advances to the point when an update in glasses prescription does not help much, then the option of cataract surgery is considered.  

When it comes to most people, cataracts are an expected side effect of older age. However, some people are born with cataracts (congenital cataracts) which can be confused with other causes of leucocoria or "white pupil".  If this is detected, the cause should be confirmed by your eye doctor immediately.  Other potential risk factors for developing a cataract include extended exposure to UV rays, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family medical history.  Also, certain medications, health conditions or previous eye infections or trauma can also predispose a person to cataracts.

During the first phases of cataract development, more efficient lighting and eyewear may be implemented to lessen the vision issues you might experience.   As cataracts progress, one notices more problems with increasing blur, distorted vision and glare. At some point when an update in glasses prescription does not seem to help, a surgical procedure might be needed to improve your vision. It's worth nothing that more than 9 out of 10 patients who've had cataract surgery reacquire great sight.

If you are over 55 and noticing low vision symptoms, you ought to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. There are treatments available for cataracts, and we know you want to have total visibility throughout your golden years.