When the normally clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy and opaque, it is called a cataract. Cataracts are most often found in persons over the age of 60, but they are also occasionally found in younger people, including newborns. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, but often at different rates.
Video by Doctors of Optometry.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts may be due to advancing age or it may be the result of heredity, an injury or a disease. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight, cigarette smoke or the use of certain medications is also risk factors for the development of cataracts.
What are the signs/symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts develop without pain or redness. Some indications that a cataract may be forming include blurred or hazy vision, the appearance of spots in front of the eyes, or the feeling of having a film over the eyes. Increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night may be experienced.
How are cataracts diagnosed and treated?
A comprehensive eye examination by your eyeDOCS optometrist can determine if you have a cataract. In the early stages of a cataract, where vision is only minimally affected, your optometrist can prescribe new lenses for your glasses to give you the sharpest vision possible. When the cataracts start to interfere with your daily activities and glasses cannot improve this vision, your optometrist will refer you to an eye surgeon who may recommend the surgical removal of the cataracts.
What happens after cataract surgery?
During surgery old cloudy lens is removed and an intraocular lens implant is inserted in your eye, this serves as a ‘new lens’. Sometimes the lens implant can give you good enough distance vision that you may not require glasses. Your near vision will still be blurred, so you may need glasses to read. Your eyeDOCS optometrist will prescribe new lenses for your glasses about four weeks after surgery to maximize your distance and near vision.