Many people have heard of cataracts. However, far fewer realize that this common condition is the leading cause of vision loss in the world, particularly amongst older people. By the age of 80, more than 50% of Americans will have a current cataract or will have undergone surgery to remove one. Whilst there is no cure for the condition, surgery can enable patients to regain their sight.
Our expert team of eye specialists have extensive experience in both diagnosing and treating patients who are experiencing cataracts, and this can be done here at our modern optometry center in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Cataracts are a condition that is characterized by cloudy patches developing on the lens of the eye. This is the small, transparent disc that covers the front of your eye. Over time, the size of these patches can increase, causing a disturbance in your vision that is similar to trying to look through frosted glass.
Cataracts usually appear in both eyes, but the rate at which they develop can vary. This means that you may have a clearer vision in one eye than the other. When you undergo treatment, it is recommended that you only have one eye treated at a time.
There are numerous symptoms that can indicate that you may have a cataract. These include:
Misty, blurred vision
Sensitivity to bright light
Finding it difficult to see in low light
Colors look faded
If you are experiencing any of the above, you should arrange an appointment with our optometry team as soon as possible.
The natural lens of the eye is primarily made up of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it onto the retina, where it is turned into an image that enables us to see. However, as we get older, the proteins can start to move around and clump together, causing areas of clouding. This is a cataract. In addition to advancing age, other factors such as smoking, diabetes and taking certain medications can also increase your risk of developing cataracts.
Initially, the symptoms of a cataract may be improved using a combination of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses and brighter lighting. However, the only long-term treatment for cataracts is to undergo surgery.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S. and is extremely safe and effective. In approximately 90% of cases, patients experience better vision after their treatment. The entire surgery usually takes less than an hour and is performed using a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t experience any discomfort. During the surgery, a small incision will be made into your eye to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, plastic variety. Afterward, you may have a patch placed over your eye to protect it while it starts to heal. You will also be given eye drops to help with healing and reduce the risk of infection.
Since your vision will be impaired for a short amount of time, and the full healing process takes around 8 weeks, it is advised that patients with cataracts in both eyes undergo surgery on one eye at a time.
If you suspect that you may have a cataract and would like to arrange an appointment with City Eyes Optometry Centers' team of optometry experts, please call our Sherman Oaks, CA optometry center today (818) 960-1300!