What You Need to Know About Cataracts and Treatment

What You Need to Know About Cataracts and Treatment

Human vision is incredibly accurate and relies on a delicate and complex system of muscles, tissues, and layers. As people age, it is common to experience a loss or worsening of vision because of tissue degradation. The most frequently seen reason behind poor vision in people over the age of 40 is the presence of cataracts on the eye. These cataracts result in blurriness, haziness, and strange reflections of the light. When searching for the proper cataract treatment, it is important to know what kind you have and the symptoms they cause.

Types of Cataracts

There are three types that develop in humans over time:

  • Subcapsular: A cataract at the back of the eye’s lens. These are common in individuals with diabetes or those who need to take steroid medications.
  • Nuclear: A cataract that forms deep in the nucleus of the eye’s lens. These are the most frequently seen among aging individuals because the lens is prone to damage and deterioration.
  • Cortical: These cataracts occur in the lens’ cortex and often look like white wedges that slowly work their way to the center like a spoke.

Each type of cataract presents itself with similar symptoms. They are all caused by the proteins which make up the lens starting to clump together with age, leading to opaque patches that cannot be seen through. Some of the most fundamental symptoms of all cataracts include:

  • Double vision in one eye
  • Struggling to see at night
  • Seeing “halos” around points of light
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Cloudy, blurred, or dim vision
  • Constantly needing a new vision prescription

Who Is at Risk?

Everyone has the potential to develop cataracts as the body ages. Some people, though, have a greater chance than others. Doctors discovered certain behaviors can lead to a greater chance of proteins fusing, including:

  • Taking steroid medications
  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to ultraviolent radiation (such as the sun)
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High myopia
  • A family history of cataracts
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • High alcohol consumptions
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Previous eye injuries

Individuals who have one or more of these characteristics should have their eyes checked on a regular basis to detect early signs of cataracts. When one is found early, you spend less time suffering from the symptoms and can instead move on to treatment to restore your vision.

Cataract Treatment

The most common form of cataract treatment is the use of special eyewear like new glasses, bifocals, and magnification to accommodate the deficiencies or errors in the eye’s natural lens. Using more light and avoiding difficult situations like driving at night will also help. However, optometrists also have other options for individuals seeking a more long lasting fix to the issue.

Surgery

As technology advances, optometrists are able to take advantage of new machines and materials that allow for the removal of cataracts entirely. A surgeon will remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL functions like a normal human lens but does not develop cataracts since it lacks the essential proteins.

To accommodate your need to see, cataract surgery is done on one eye at a time. This gives the eye a chance to heal so you retain partial vision while the treated eye heals. Many modern IOLs include additional features such as resistance to ultraviolent light and radiation, making it easier for older individuals to see during the day.

Thanks to contemporary techniques and technology, using IOLs has become a safe, affordable procedure for many cataract sufferers.

Conclusion – Finding Treatment

Cataracts can be difficult to handle, especially for individuals who are accustomed to perfect vision. Many people view them as just as inevitability of aging, but this does not have to be the case. If you are starting to develop cataract symptoms, finding treatment near you should be a priority and is a way to avoid the unpleasant daily hazard of blurry or hazy vision.

At Lowcountry Vision Care in Pawleys Island, SC, we offer thorough eye exams and cataract assessments to see if surgical treatment would be beneficial for you. Even if the idea of an IOL makes you uncomfortable, we can offer more moderate solutions like new glasses to overcome the effects of aging.