Why Do People Get Cataracts?
Cataracts are a common eye condition that, over time, cause blurred or hazy vision. Untreated, they can eventually lead to blindness. The occurrence of cataract increases as you age. In fact, by age 80, most people will either have the condition or will have had surgery to remove them.
The following explains all you need to know about cataracts, why they form, and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
All About Cataracts: Symptoms, risk factors, and treatment
- What are cataracts?
- Why do they form?
- Cataract symptoms
What are cataracts?
In the simplest terms, cataracts are cloudy areas within the lens of the eye. They form slowly— over many years—and cause vision to deteriorate. They can occur in one or both eyes. While they have no symptoms in the early stages, the condition follows a slow path of progression that will, if left unchecked, eventually cause very poor or a total loss of vision.
Thankfully, various surgical procedures can effectively treat the condition. Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations carried out in the USA and the western world.
Why do they form?
In the majority of cases, cataracts are age-related, although some genetic disorders can cause them in younger people. Injury to the eye can also be a factor, as can various medical conditions, including diabetes. Long-term steroid use also raises the risk factor.
Changes in the lens of the eye lead to tissues clumping together, and this causes small areas of the lens to become clouded. As the condition progresses, these clumps of tissue extend to cover more of the lens, with a related deterioration in vision.
In the early stages, there are generally no symptoms. As the cataract grows, symptoms become more noticeable. These include:
– Colors become less vibrant
– Vision becomes clouded, blurred, or hazy
– Night vision declines
– Seeing a halo around lights
– Lights, such as headlights, lamps, and sunlight, seem overly bright
– Double vision
– More frequent prescription changes
Eye Examination is the Ultimate Preventative Measure
- Protection can delay the onset
Protection can delay the onset
While there is no definitive way to prevent the formation of cataracts, there are steps you can take to delay and reduce the likelihood of them occurring prematurely:
– Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (or baseball cap)
– Stop smoking
– Reduce alcohol intake
– Eat a healthy diet, including plenty of dark leafy greens
By far the best step to take is to undergo regular eye exams. These should be at least every other year, increasing in regularity as you get older (your eye doctor will advise on how often you should have an exam carried out). For those with certain medical conditions (diabetes, eye injuries, radiation treatment on the upper body) or who take steroid medication to treat conditions like arthritis, eye examinations are vital to monitor the formation of cataracts.
Those with early-stage cataracts are likely to be able to manage the condition with new eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions. However, as they progress, the only form of treatment is surgery, whereby the damaged lens is removed and replaced with a new, artificial one. The procedure is simple and safe, and successfully restores vision in the majority of people on whom it’s performed.
Contact the WBEC to Detect and Monitor Cataract Signs and Symptoms
The West Boca Eye Center is one of the country’s leading clinics for the assessment and treatment of cataracts. Led by renowned ophthalmologist, Brent Bellotte MD., this academic-grade eye hospital provides the very latest cataract surgery procedures.
Dr. Bellotte has dedicated his professional career to the advancement of cataract therapy, leading the way in the USA and at a global level. The WBEC was established to allow patients to attend a single location where every aspect of eye care can be catered for—from regular eye examinations through to the very latest, cutting-edge, surgical procedures.
To find out more visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com and schedule a call today.