If you are over age 40 and have clouded, blurry vision, you may have cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Individuals with cataracts often feel as if they are seeing through a piece of foggy or hazy glass. Cataracts may start small but it not properly dealt with, can ultimately lead to blindness.
Cataracts must be diagnosed and treated by a board certified ophthalmologist. At Visual Health, our team of expert ophthalmologists in Palm Beach County have years of collective experience treating cataract patients and helping them restore clear vision. If you believe you have cataracts, schedule an appointment with a member of our team today or continue reading to learn more about what cataracts are, common symptoms and how they are treated.
How are Cataracts Formed?
The eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris and the pupil, plays an important role in clear vision. The lens is mostly made of water and proteins. As you grow older, the proteins begin to clump together and the lens loses its flexibility, making it more difficult for the eye to properly focus light. This combination leads to the formation of a cataract, which creates clouded vision.
For many people, cataracts are a part of getting older. Research shows that more than 50 percent of Americans age 80 and older either have cataracts or have undergone surgery to get them removed. A rare form of cataracts, known as congenital cataracts, occurs at birth. Other risk factors for cataracts include:
- Family history of cataracts
- Overexposure to sunlight
- Previous eye surgery or injury
Visual symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurry or clouded vision
- Double vision
- Difficulty seeing in bright light conditions
- Poor night vision
- Halos and glare around lights
- Yellowish-tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyewear prescription
Cataracts are diagnosed by an ophthalmologist during an eye exam. The eye doctor will conduct a series of tests to determine the cause of the visual symptoms and ensure that there is no evidence of another eye disease. During the eye exam, the patient’s health history and visual symptoms will be discussed in order to determine the appropriate treatment.
Early stages of cataracts can be treated with prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. However, as the cataract worsens and vision becomes increasingly blurry, so much that it interferes with everyday activities, surgery becomes necessary.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures performed today. The procedure involves removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. The procedure can be completed in a matter of minutes and most patients notice an improvement in their vision the next day. Recovery is short; patients typically return to work or sports the following day.
Visual Health offers both traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgery to accommodate each individual patient’s needs. Laser-assisted cataract surgery involves the same steps as the traditional procedure. The only difference is that a femtosecond laser is used to create the flap needed to access the lens, as well as break down the cataract for easy removal. Both traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgeries are safe and proven to be effective for restoring vision. Each procedure has its own sets of benefits and limitations that our team can go over with you during your consultation. Our eye doctors will also discuss your IOL options in order to determine which one achieves the best visual outcome and suits your lifestyle.
For more information about cataract symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, please schedule a personal consultation with one of our cataract specialists. Please call our Palm Springs or Jupiter office today at 1-800-771-3937.