Learn How Cataracts Affect Your Vision

Eye exam for cataracts

Did you know that cataracts affect millions of Americans? They’re one of the most common causes of age-related vision loss. It’s important to understand cataracts and know the symptoms, so that you can seek eye care quickly if you suspect you’ve got cataracts.

Cataracts affect the lenses in the eyes, which are normally clear and focus light to the retina. When a person has cataracts, those lenses become cloudy or opaque. Cataracts distort the light, making vision blurry and causing sensitivity to bright lights. A person who has cataracts may develop poor night vision and may see a glare from the sun or other lights. Colors may seem to fade, and the person might even begin to experience double vision. Cataracts don’t cause any pain, so they often go unnoticed until vision begins to decline. However, regular visits to the eye doctor can allow for earlier diagnosis.

The most common cause of cataracts is aging. As a person ages, the water and protein that make up the eyes’ lenses can change. This can result in protein clumping together and making the lens cloudy. Other causes include illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light, smoking and excessive alcohol use, the use of steroids, or injury to the eyes. If you have a family history of cataracts, you’re at higher risk of developing them. You can’t really prevent cataracts, but you can reduce your risk by eating a nutrient-dense diet, wearing sunglasses that protect against UV rays, quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption, controlling your diabetes, and getting regular eye exams.

The good news is that the loss of vision caused by cataracts can be reversed. In the early stages, wearing eyeglasses can help. As the condition progresses, your eye doctor may recommend surgery. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective surgical procedure that can help recover vision, even for people of advanced age. It’s beneficial, because it improves vision in 90 percent of patients and that can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. In fact, a recent study indicated that mortality rates from all causes declined in people with cataracts after they underwent cataract surgery! In cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens to allow for clearer vision.

The best thing you can do for your eyes is have regular eye exams. When you see your eye doctor regularly, the doctor can establish a baseline for your vision and more easily catch any changes that you might not notice on your own. Catching cataracts early can help prevent blindness and assure that you get the proper treatment to improve your vision.

If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating over thirty-five years of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.