You may be able to hobble through your day with an achy back or a broken toe, but eye issues can stop you in your tracks. Our eyes are among the most vital organs in our bodies but, unfortunately, eye disorders such as cataracts are more common than people think. Over half of all adults aged 65 and older have at least one cataract, and cataracts are the most common cause of blindness, globally.
Take the first step learning how to avoid cataracts:
- Get the need-to-know cataract facts
- Understand the types of cataracts that exist
- Learn cataract risk factors
- How to treat cataracts, and,
- What you can do to help prevent them from forming
Cataract Facts: Identifying Features
First, the biggest, most important cataract fact: a cataract clouds the lens of your eye. The lens of your eye is normally clear, so a cataract may cause your vision to become blurry. While most cataracts are a result of aging, it is possible to have the condition at any age for a variety of other reasons. A cataract can develop in one or both eyes. Cataracts usually do not harm the eye, but they can cause vision problems that may affect your quality of life.
Types of Cataracts
Despite what most people may think, there are several different types of cataracts that vary in location and severity. Most types of cataracts are named according their location in the lens. For example, nuclear cataracts develop in the nucleus, or the center, of the lens.
- Nuclear Cataracts
Nuclear cataracts may cause the lens to turn yellow or brown over time.
- Cortical Cataracts
Cortical cataracts develop in the area surrounding the nucleus.
- Posterior Subcapular Cataracts
Posterior subcapular cataracts form around the back of the lens and may progress more quickly than other types of cataracts.
- Congenital Cataracts
A fourth type, congenital cataracts, occur in children. They can form before birth and may be genetic.
Cataract Risk Factors
Spotting cataract risk factors are crucial to treatment and prevention of cataracts in your eyes. There are several health factors that may make you more likely to develop cataracts. It is always a good idea to contact a physician to reduce your risk if any of the following factors apply to you:
- Family history
- Previous eye injury
Additionally, smoking and excessive drinking may increase your risk for developing cataracts. If you smoke, reducing your risk of cataracts is yet another benefit of quitting. Ultraviolet light can also contribute to cataract formation, so make sure that you are doing everything that you can to protect your eyes from the sun.
At first, cataracts may not be very noticeable, but they can become larger over time. Regular eye exams can help you and your physician detect a cataract early so that you can develop a treatment plan. Contact an ophthalmologist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing double
- Colors appearing faded
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Seeing halos around lights
Texas Cataract Treatments at Eye Center of Texas
If cataracts are affecting your quality of life, your doctor may recommend surgery. Cataract surgery involves removal of the clouded lens and replacement with a clear, artificial lens. Eye Center of Texas uses an innovative laser cataract surgery procedure that can help surgeons provide patients with better quality of vision.
If you have or think you may develop cataracts, regular eye exams are important to monitor the progression of your cataracts. Schedule a consultation today to speak with a physician about your next steps towards better eye health.