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:
Eye exams are an important part of our yearly health maintenance. Not only do ours eyes help us see the world around us, but through eyes we can often see other problems pertaining to our health. Regular eye exams can improve your chances of detecting other health concerns early, including conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Here are a few ways to improve your eye health:
Avoid persistent rubbing of your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can damage the outer lens of the eye (cornea), which can greatly decrease your vision.
Avoid straining the eyes. Straining the eyes can lead to tension headaches and temporary blurred vision.
Wear UV protection sunglasses while outdoors or while in the car. UV rays can damage the eyes over time, causing early development of cataracts and possibly macular degeneration.
Use protective eye where while doing yard work or construction. If you have a job that involves working with drywall, sawdust, or other airborne particles use eye protective at work too.
Some eye conditions can come on suddenly, such as acute glaucoma, retina detachment or floaters. Other conditions occur slowly, Cataracts or Keratoconus. Yearly eye exams can often result in identifying early signs.
Any changes to your vision should be reported to your eye care professional immediately. There are many signs of serious vision problems that can be detected early. Ensuring that you pay attention to blurred vision, dry eyes, or constant eye strain will help you preserve your vision. We only get one pair of eyes, so it is important you take care of them.
Most of us worry about aging and how it effects our bodies. Cataracts is a progressive condition that appears slowly often leaving no symptoms. Generally symptoms don’t occur until the cataracts has progressed enough to disturb your vision. Cataracts is a natural slow clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Most commonly the treatment for this condition is Cataracts surgery a procedure that is routinely performed and can have a relatively easy recovery. Generally Cataracts is found during a routine exam, however some people can get symptoms early, below are a few:
·Colors are fading or yellowing
·Inability to read without bright light
·Very poor vision at night
·Halo vision – visibility of halo around lights, lamp and bright sunlight
·At night the headlights seem to be too bright
·Double vision .
While these symptoms are often those symptoms of other eye conditions if you have any reporting them to your eye care professionals with help you get the proper diagnosis. Though it could be something common or less serious any eye changes can indicate problems in your physical health or vision. Cataracts are identified by a series of tests: There are several tests that maybe performed to diagnosis Cataracts your eye care professional can help determine a Cataracts diagnosis on most routine eye exams. Cataracts development differs between people. A few tests are:
Pupil dilation to assess the lens
Visual Acuity testing
Measuring eye prescription
Age-related cataract, develop over a long period, usually noted between the ages of 65-85. However it can happen to those early in life, including those who have Diabetes. Diabetes can increase the rate in which the Cataracts develop. An eye exam every year is very important to keep top quality of vision.
For many of us Cataracts can be a discouraging diagnosis. Although it is a inherited condition and you may know someone who has suffered from it, the disease affects us all differently. Descriptions of the progression by eye doctors can be vague to say the least. Actually being faced with it can be more bothersome than described.
As Cataracts progresses it causes more visual disturbances such as:
Difficulty reading computer screen
Declined brightness of colors
Difficulty seeing in low light
Difficulty driving at night
Frequent prescription updates.
Increased blurred vision can also be an annoying factor in the progression. This can hinder your day to day activities causing you to feel more unlike yourself.
Below are some two tips to help you deal with the increasing symptoms:
Get plenty of rest:
Sleep helps reduce the strain on your eyes, as well as improving your overall vision. For those of us who struggle with busy work schedules, adding in a sufficient amount of time to sleep will improve not only your overall vision but your overall health and its function.
Increase the magnification on what you read:
If you are struggling to view your computer screen or books increasing the size on the computer or using a magnifying lens will help you strain less, reducing your symptoms for the time being. The more your strain your vision the more you can damage your sight. Ensuring your vision lasts as long as possible by reducing the amount of strain on your eyes daily.
When to seek treatment:
If you are noticing significant impact on your daily activities, such as driving, reading or doing tasks around the house or office, it is time to discuss with you eye care doctor the option of cataract removal. Cataract removal is a relatively quick 10 minute out-patient procedure. Cataract removal is one of the most common procedures performed everyday in the United States. The benefit is improved vision and often the ability to reduce your need for glasses.
Be sure to report any new symptoms to your eye care professionals, and let them know what your day to day experiences are like. This will help them customize your treatment plan and give them a chance to offer you suggestion that maybe beneficial to you and your long term plan.
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.
It is said that Diabetes is the second leading reason for developing cataracts in the United States. So what’s the number one reason? Age. It is a fact that by age 75 about 70% of Americans will have cataracts that will affect their daily life. That is quite a big number. And what can we do about it. Reduce the risk factors as much as possible and get regular check ups to protect your vision.
Below are some risk factors for Cataracts:
Medications [Such as Corticosteroids or Prolonged use of steriods]
Although Cataracts is typically a slowly progressive disease and can generally be caught soon. In some people for instance those with Diabetes it can progress rapidly. It is always best to get your eyes examined whenever you see changes in vision. It could mean your vision if its not taken care of properly.
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in Cataracts Surgery and other vision correction procedures, such as LASIK or Visian ICL.