What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a very familiar part of aging. As a matter of fact, statistically speaking, more than half of the entire population of the world will be treated for cataracts at some point in their life by the time they reach 80 years old. Given that the rate of cataracts is so incredibly high, it is essential to be educated about what it means to have cataracts, what the symptoms are and how to treat them.
To better understand what cataracts are and how they work, it is worthwhile to briefly outline how the eyes work, and how cataracts hinder proper sight. Dr. Dan Bristol of Bristol Family Eyecare in Austin, TX explains, “Our eyes receive light from our surroundings. This light enters the eye through the pupil and is focused through the lens onto light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, known as the retina.
As a person gets older, the eye's normally clear lens, which is mostly made of water and protein, begins to harden, sometimes forming clumps that cloud the lens and prevent light from properly entering the eye. These clumps are known as cataracts.”
Although cataracts usually only affect those in the older age sets, previous eye disease or eye surgery, chronic disease, diabetes, and eye injuries can also cause a person to develop a cataract well before reaching old age.
What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?
Cataract symptoms can range from painless, blurry vision, or faded or yellowed colors, to double vision within a single eye, as well as increased difficulty seeing at night or in dim lighting. If you experience symptoms, you should consult your eye care professional for an appointment, and be sure to have regular check-ups after diagnosis.
Can Cataract Be Treated?
The only treatment available for cataracts is surgical removal. In cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens, in what is normally an outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay.
While in previous years people had to wear either very thick glasses or special contact lenses to see after cataract surgery, new advances in lens implants make post-cataract vision better than ever before! One great lens implant option for the best post-cataract vision is known as premium, or multi-focal lens implants. Unlike single vision implants, premium lens implants allow you to see at both close and distance, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses to perform visual tasks such as reading. Be sure to ask your doctor about this advanced lens option! For further information about cataracts, their symptoms, and how to treat them, contact Dr. Dan Bristol today.