Cataract Care

A cataract occurs when the lens of your eye, the clear part of your eye that helps to focus light, starts to become cloudy. It is a prevalent condition among older people. At first, it may be difficult to tell if you have a cataract in one or both of your eyes. You may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities. Symptoms of cataracts include: Cataract Care

  • Your vision is cloudy or blurry
  • Colors look faded
  • You can’t see well at night
  • Lamps, sunlight, or headlights seem too bright
  • You see a halo around lights
  • You see double (this sometimes goes away as the cataract gets bigger)
  • You have to change the prescription for your glasses or contact lenses often

The 5 Types of Cataracts

  1. Age-related cataracts: As you get older, a cataract can develop because of natural changes in the lens of your eye. This is the most common type of cataract. You may be more likely to develop age-related cataracts if you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink too much alcohol
    • Have a family history of cataracts
    • Have diabetes
    • Have had certain eye surgeries, like glaucoma surgery
    • Take steroids – medicines used to treat some health problems, like arthritis or allergies
  1. Traumatic cataracts: Serious eye injuries can damage your lens and cause a cataract. The cataract could form soon after the injury or develop many years later.
  2. Radiation cataracts: Some types of radiation can cause cataracts. This includes sun ultraviolet (UV) rays and radiation treatment for cancer.
  3. Pediatric cataracts: Children can get cataracts, too. They can be born with cataracts (congenital cataracts) or develop them later on. Cataracts in children are rare, and they’re usually genetic — meaning they run in families. They can also happen because of severe problems during pregnancy or because of illnesses during childhood, like uveitis or tumors in the eye. Children can also get cataracts for the same reasons as adults — like eye injuries, radiation, or steroids.
  4. Secondary cataracts: After cataract surgery, it’s possible to develop scar tissue in the eye, making your vision cloudy again. This is called a secondary cataract. Treatment for secondary cataracts is quick and painless. Your eye doctor will use a laser to make an opening in the cloudy part of the lens — this is called YAG laser capsulotomy. Most people will notice their vision returns to normal in a few days.

Treatment for Cataracts

An eye doctor, like the ones at Vision Veritas, can check for cataracts as part of a dilated eye exam. If you’re age 60 or older, get a dilated eye exam every one to two years. The exam is simple and painless – your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate (widen) your pupil and then check your eyes for cataracts and other eye problems.

Fortunately, surgery can get rid of cataracts. This standard, easy surgery is safe and corrects vision problems caused by cataracts. The National Eye Institute reports that cataract surgery is one of the most common operations in the United States. During cataract surgery, the doctor removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a new, artificial lens (also called an intraocular lens, or IOL). You and your ophthalmologist should discuss your cataract symptoms. Together, you can decide whether you are ready for cataract surgery. 

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