Cataracts is a condition that many people associate with old age, but for many, the symptoms begin decades earlier. More than 90% of the population will develop cataracts by the time they are 65. People with diabetes, other eye diseases or those who heavily rely on steroid medications can develop cataracts much earlier in life. In fact, babies can even develop cataracts although it is a rare occurrence.
Cataracts occurs because the crystalline lens in the middle of the eye becomes cloudy. Over time, your vision becomes blurry or distorted, like your looking through fog. Early warning signs of cataracts include sensitivity to light or glare, the need for brighter light, and/or seeing halos or rings around lights.
Most people don’t seek treatment for the condition until it severely impairs their quality of life such as their ability to drive or to read. Cataracts does not develop evenly in both eyes so one eye is often more affected than the other. Although there are no ways to prevent cataracts, there are several ways to slow its progression including:
- Routine eye exams
- A healthy diet (vitamins and nutrients are important for eye health)
- Managing other medical conditions
- Daily exercise (a healthy weight helps manage other medical conditions that can impact eye health)
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, the doctor will initially adjust your prescription to improve your vision. When a prescription can no longer improve your vision, cataract surgery is the only treatment option. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness over time.
The good news is that cataracts is one of the safest and most effective outpatients surgeries.
Over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery each year and the success rate is 98% or higher. Patients that undergo cataract surgery report a dramatic difference in their ability to see. The surgeon can also make other corrections to a patient’s vision such as the removal of astigmatism, far sightedness, near sightedness, or refractive vision. After surgery, many patients ask themselves why did I wait this long? If you are experiencing early signs of vision impairment, don’t delay seeking treatment; we guarantee your future will look brighter!