For those who have a family history of Cataracts and know what the progression of this is like, you understand that Cataracts can cause problems within everyday activities and over time your vision can become severely compromised.
A Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which causes distortions in the patient’s vision over time. Cataracts are a progressive condition that cause severe complications in daily vision. For those who have conditions such as diabetes and even heart disease, the condition can progress faster causing a need for earlier surgery.
F.A.Q. on Cataracts
What are the main types of Cataract?
Age related – Cataracts are most often caused by aging. This is the most common form of Cataract. Traumatic Cataract – Due to eye injuries Secondary Cataracts – Caused by those with Diabetes, Glaucoma, and even Steroid uses
What are the Risk Factors of Cataracts?
There are several risk factors for Cataracts.
• Smoking & Alcohol usage
• Prolonged exposure to sunlight
• Conditions such as Diabetes, and other eye conditions
If you think that you have any risk factors asking your eye care professional will give you a heads up on detecting it early.
What are Treatments for Cataracts?
There are several treatment options for those with Cataracts. While surgery is the primary treatment for Cataracts, there are several treatments that can help as the condition progresses. You should know, cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed every day in the world and is relatively safe an easy 20 minute procedure.
• Change of Prescriptions
• Anti-glare Sunglasses
• Magnifying lenses
• Artificial lenses
• Surgery – Phoacoemulsification (Phaco AKA Small incision)
Watch an informative overview of Cataract procedures below:
There are several people suffering from both Cataracts and Macular Degeneration today. Both conditions are degenerative to the eye and can cause severe visual loss. Their only real difference is what visual areas are affected by each condition.
In Cataracts the vision is affected slowly over time as the internal lens becomes cloudy. In some cases of Cataracts the vision can decline quickly over six months to a year.
Increased trouble with night vision
Increased sensitivity to light
Halos or Spots
Difficulty reading paperwork even with reading glasses
Decline in brightness of colors
Macular Degeneration is also a progressive condition generally affecting those who are 50 plus. The most common form is Age-related Macular Degeneration [or AMD]. This condition affects the area of the retina that controls the central vision field or the macula. The Macula covers 2.1 % of the retina. It controls your ability to recognize faces, separate dark from light colors, etc.
Visual acuity drastically decreasing
Usual shadows or missing areas within vision
Exudative changes, hemorrhages in eye
Atrophy Incipient and geographic
Having one of the above conditions can be managed with proper care. However, not having regular eye exams can pose problems later as they work to interrupt vision. This can cause a severe decline of vision and can lead to severe vision loss.
Our eyes need help as we age and making sure that you take care of them and get a yearly eye exam will ensure your vision stays with you.
Cataracts is a condition many of us know all to well, you probably have a parent or grandparent that experienced this condition in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. If we all live long enough we will eventually develop cataracts, it is almost a badge of a life lived long.
However understanding the impact it has on your vision and that there is help is something that is misunderstood. Cataracts can affect people for many different reasons. Knowing the symptoms of the condition will assist with early detection and in many cases save your vision.
Symptoms of Cataracts:
Poor night vision
Increasing light to read
Fading colors or yellows
Increased light sensitivity
Painless blurred vision
Cataracts affects each person differently and though in age-related cases cataracts generally progresses slowly; those with diabetes might notice them develop very rapidly. Though the myth is that cataracts is a slow progressive condition no one really can determine how fast it will progress from one person to the next. The best advice is to get checked regularly and if you are a diabetic being examined yearly is very important.
Risk Factors for Cataracts:
Though most of us think Cataracts is an age related condition there are many other ways you can be affected by cataracts. There are many risk factors for Cataracts including Diabetes, eye trauma, and family history. Making sure you are getting your annual check-ups will help you with early detection of the condition.
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in eye care treatments, and other procedures.