Over half of Americans over 80 have cataracts or received surgery to have them removed. This eye condition can cause cloudy or blurred vision and increased light sensitivity. Patients may also experience poor night vision or notice that colors aren’t as vibrant as they used to be.
While cataracts usually occur in older adults, this eye condition can happen to anyone. A local scleral optometrist shares the different types of cataracts.
Types of Cataracts
Cataracts can occur due to the changes in your eyes as you age. You’re more prone to age-related cataracts if you drink alcohol excessively, smoke cigarettes, take steroids and have diabetes. A family history of this eye condition and past eye surgeries also increases your risk for this eye condition.
Some people are born with cataracts or develop them in the first year of life. It’s not common for children to have cataracts. If your child’s cataracts are large enough to impact vision, immediate treatment is necessary to avoid further eye problems, like amblyopia or lazy eye.
Blunt and penetrating eye injuries usually cause traumatic cataracts. This form of cataract may develop immediately or years after the eye injury.
There is a chance for scar tissue to develop in the eye after cataract surgery. If this happens, your vision will become cloudy again. Secondary cataracts are more common than you think and occur in two out of five people who get cataract surgery. A quick and non-invasive procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy is the typical treatment for this type of cataract. Patients usually gain normal vision a few days following treatment.
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Regular comprehensive eye exams are crucial for the early detection of vision-threatening conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. Individuals older than 60 should schedule a dilated eye exam every one to two years.
During your appointment, your eye care provider will use dilating eye drops to widen your pupil and check for signs of cataracts and other eye issues. Your doctor might also perform a refraction test, ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp test. These tests will help them determine if you need new prescription glasses or dry eye treatment.
How Are Cataracts Treated?
If you have cataracts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need surgery. In the initial stages of this eye condition, prescription glasses or contact lenses can help improve vision. You can also use brighter lights in your home and wear anti-glare sunglasses outdoors. Moreover, your eye doctor will recommend surgery if cataracts are starting to disrupt your daily tasks.
You don’t need to wait for your vision to change before seeing your eye doctor. Leave your eye care needs to Lumen Optometric. Besides comprehensive eye exams, we also offer neurolens treatment, scleral lenses and orthokeratology. Call us at (626) 921-0199 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.