Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss for men and women over the age of 40, and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. At Frame & Focus Eye Care in Richmond, Texas, Sarah Zaver, OD, FAAO, and Angela Chu, OD, take a patient-centered approach to diagnosing, preventing, and treating cataracts so you can see clearly again. If your vision is becoming cloudy, distorted, or fuzzy, you may have the early stages of a cataract. Schedule a professional eye exam by phone at (832) 930-7797 or use the online booking tool to request a convenient appointment time.
Cataracts Q & A
Why do cataracts form?
A cataract forms as a result of protein buildup on the lens in your eye. The lens is typically clear, but a cataract makes it cloudy and distorts your vision. The exact cause of cataracts isn’t known, but there are certain risk factors that make some people more prone to getting them, including:
- High blood pressure
- Sunlight and ultraviolet radiation exposure
- Certain medications
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Past eye injuries
- Excessive alcohol consumption
As you get older, the lenses in your eyes become less transparent and less flexible. Add in the risk factors above and the tissue in your lenses can break down more easily and slowly clump together. The clumps make your lens cloudy, blocking the light that passes through and causing your vision to become distorted so objects appear fuzzy or out of focus.
What are common symptoms of cataracts?
As a cataract increases in size, it distorts your vision and causes problems such as:
- Fading or yellowing colors
- Cloudy vision
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Halos around lights and glare
- Frequently changing contact lens or glasses prescriptions
At first, when a cataract is small, you may only notice a tiny change in your vision, but as the cataract gets larger, it tends to cause more noticeable vision changes.
What treatments are effective for cataracts?
Typically, surgery is the most effective treatment for cataracts. Today’s technology makes it possible for your doctor to remove the clouded lens from your eye and insert a new, clear, artificial lens. This intraocular lens becomes a permanent part of your eye so you can see clearly again.
Cataract surgery is typically a painless, outpatient procedure with a very high success rate. About 3 million Americans have cataract surgery each year and regain excellent vision, sometimes no longer needing to wear glasses.
It’s possible to prevent cataracts or slow their progression by protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing sunglasses and increasing your intake of vitamin E with diet and supplements may also help prevent or slow the development of cataracts as you age.
To learn more about cataract diagnosis, prevention, and treatments, call to schedule a comprehensive eye exam or book online.