Help! I Think I Have a Cataract

Help! I Think I Have a Cataract

While not an inevitable part of getting older, the risk of developing cataracts does climb with age. Close to 25 million Americans have cataracts, and by the time you reach 75 years of age, you have about a 50% chance of being affected. 

Proteins within the eye’s lens start to break down due to time or injury, changing from clear to cloudy and interfering with the light that reaches the retina. Vision becomes blurry, dim, and dull, with problems increasing until the entire lens becomes opaque. 

Fortunately, surgical replacement of cataract-blocked lenses is a routine procedure that restores clarity to your vision. As cataract surgery specialists, the team at IC Laser Eye Care provides all the help you need when your eyes become affected. 

How do I know I have cataracts?

It’s possible you’ll never notice the vision changes during the early stages of cataracts, particularly if clouding starts away from your central vision. Changes usually progress slowly, so you adapt along the way. Your cataracts may be advanced before you recognize symptoms, which can include: 

If you wear corrective lenses, you may find your prescription needs frequent updating as your cataracts advance. 

Cataract formation

Like many parts of the body, your eye’s lenses change over time, in their case becoming thicker and less flexible. These changes are often accompanied by increasing cloudiness, which scatters or blocks light on its path to the retina at the back of the eye. 

Some factors, including diabetes, radiation therapy on the upper body, and some classes of drugs, including steroids, can speed cataract formation. Spending time in the sun without sunglasses may also contribute to lens cloudiness. 

Both eyes are usually affected when you have cataracts, but they don’t always progress at the same rate. Changes in vision between your eyes may be another clue suggesting cataract formation. 

Treating cataracts

In the early stages, lens prescriptions can adjust for the vision changes caused by cataracts, and it’s possible to go years before surgery is advised. When it becomes more difficult to drive or read, it may be time for cataract surgery. 

One of the safest and most often performed surgeries in the United States, cataract surgery has a low risk of complications and a high rate of success. If you need surgery on both eyes, they’re usually separated by several months to minimize disruptions to your daily life. The first eye is healed by the time the second procedure is done. 

For an exam and evaluation, contact the IC Laser Eye Care nearest you — in Bensalem and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey — by phone or online. You can discuss the progress of your cataracts with your ophthalmologist and together develop a plan for the future care of your vision. Cataracts may be part of your life, but they don’t need to dominate it. Book your consultation today. 

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