Cataracts are among the most common vision problems in seniors, and describe the clouding of the usually clear lens of a patient’s eye. Though they usually develop slowly, and can cause little to no symptoms at first, cataracts can drastically obscure your vision as they mature, making it difficult or impossible to read a book, drive a car, or recognize the people in front of you. Fortunately, surgery or another appropriate treatment can usually help correct the condition and restore your clear sight. At Lifetime Eye Care in Cleveland, cataracts treatment is not typically performed on both eyes at the same time, but rather a few weeks or months apart to allow the first eye to heal. Waiting also allows your optometrist, Jeffrey E. Schultz, to gauge how much your vision clears after the surgery.
How to Know if You Have Cataracts
The severity of your cataracts’ symptoms depends on how advanced your condition is. In many cases, signs won’t become noticeable until many years after cataracts have developed. If you experience any of the following, then you may have cataracts, and you should visit your optometrist as soon as possible.
- Blurred (clouded) or dim vision
- Decreased ability to see clearly at night
- Deteriorating eyesight overall
- Double vision in one or both eyes
- Fading colors
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing “halos” around nearly every light
How to Treat Cataracts
Until cataracts begin to affect your quality of life, treatment may not be necessary beyond prescription eyeglasses. Once they become an issue, however, your eyesight will not improve until the cataracts are surgically removed. Surgery involves removing an eye’s clouded lens and replacing it with a clear lens. If Dr. Schultz notices cataracts during your eye examination, then he will thoroughly explain your situation, as well as viable treatment options, and whether or not surgery is necessary.
Before opting for eye surgery, be sure to keep your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription up-to-date, and try to improve the lighting in your house, especially where you read. If necessary, use a magnifying glass to read, and wear sunglasses and/or a wide-brimmed hat when it’s sunny outside. If you notice the quality of your vision decreasing rapidly, then visit Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz as soon as possible for a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis.
Common Risk Factors
A number of issues can contribute to the problem of cataracts, including;
- Cataracts in your family history
- Diabetes (if applicable)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive, direct exposure of your eyes to sunlight
- Previous injury or inflammation in the eye
Learn More about Cataracts and Other Eye Problems
Your vision accounts for most of your sensory input, and when it starts to fade, vision loss can prove distressing, to say the least. If you believe you may have one or more cataracts, or if you want to learn how to reduce your chances of cataracts from developing, then schedule an examination with Dr. Schultz by calling our office as soon as possible.