What causes Cataracts?
In most cases, the protein in the lens just changes from the wear and tear it takes over the years. This type of age related cataract will affect just about all of us if we live long enough. Other contributing factors such as diabetes and lifestyle behaviors such as smoking can affect the development of cataracts. Severe trauma to the eye and excessive exposure to UV light can also result in cataract formation. Long term use of certain medications such as cortical steroids can also be a factor in the development of cataracts.
Whens is one most likely to have a cataract
The term “age-related” is a little misleading. One doesn’t have to be a senior citizen to get this type of cataract. In fact, people can have age-related cataracts in their 40s and 50s, but during middle age, most cataracts are not visually significant. By the age of 70, most people begin to notice reduced vision due to cataracts.
What are symptoms of cataract?
Cataracts start out insignificantly, having little effect on vision. As a cataract becomes more dense, patients frequently describe their vision as blurry or hazy at all distances. Many experience bright and bothersome glare from the sun, headlights, or lamps, and some describe colors as appearing less bright and vivid. Eventually, reading and other normal tasks become challenging.
How is a cataract detected?
Although one might think he or she has a cataract, the only way to know for sure is by having an eye examination. Should Dr. Derryberry determine the presence of a cataract, then he can monitor the progression of the cataract, and advise when surgery is indicated.
How can cataracts be treated?
A surgeon removes the clouded lens from the eye, and an artificial lens, or IOL, is then inserted behind the iris in place of the original lens. Although any surgery can potentially have complications, cataract surgery is very successful in the hands of a skilled surgeon. In fact, the procedure is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with over 1.5 million cataract surgeries done each year. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis, and recovery takes anywhere from a week to a few months.
When should cataracts be treated?
If Dr. Derryberry determines the presence of a cataract, surgery may not be necessary for several years, if at all. The doctors will measure vision in all cataract patients, but ultimately, surgery is indicated when the patient’s lifestyle becomes affected due to reduced vision.