In observance of women’s eye health and safety month, Eye Center of Texas is here to talk about the most common signs of cataracts in women.
Women in the US are more likely to develop certain serious eye diseases than men including macular degeneration, thyroid eye disease, and cataracts. Eye disease in women and men alike is more easily prevented if caught early, which is why we recommend being aware of the more common signs of cataracts and other eye diseases.
If you are concerned about developing cataracts, or the health of your vision in general, we recommend talking to your eye doctor, finding the right surgeon, and taking action sooner rather than later, as mature cataracts can be harder to fully remove.
Symptoms of cataracts
So, what do cataracts look like? And how do you know if you have them? Protein buildup on your lens will cause an opaque white, yellow, or brown discoloration to appear. They are fairly visible once they have developed, but developing cataracts are often a little harder to spot.
Most signs of cataracts in women (and in men) include difficulty seeing as well as symptoms such as:
- Difficulty reading: This can mean trouble focusing on things both near and far away as well as persistent blurry or cloudy vision even while wearing prescription lenses.
- Poor night vision: Driving in the dark or walking around your house at night might suddenly be more difficult.
- Double vision: Cataracts can scatter the light passing through your eye, refracting it and causing distortions in your vision.
- Haloing around lights: Driving at night can become dangerous when halos and glare obstruct your vision.
- Light and glare sensitivity: The scattered light can overwhelm your eyes and cause pain.
- Severe difference in vision quality between eyes: If one eye is suffering from a cataract the imbalance created can cause a number of vision problems.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist about getting a dilated eye exam if you are concerned about cataracts. The National Eye Institute recommends that patients over 60 years old undergo a dilated eye exam once per year, as cataract risk goes up significantly with age. However, if you are wondering at what age do cataracts usually start, you should know that juvenile cataracts and congenital cataracts also exist and that the risk is not just posed to those 60 and up.
Cataracts can also form on the back of the lens. Called posterior subcapsular cataracts, these cataracts usually start small and are hard to spot, they interfere with vision in a number of ways and progress at a faster rate than normal cataracts.
Some risk factors for cataracts include:
- Excessive or prolonged exposure to the sun
- Excessive alcohol use
- Obesity or poor diet
- High blood pressure
- Previous eye injuries or eye surgeries
- Prolonged use of corticosteroids
During a dilated eye exam, your doctor will likely want to measure your eye pressure as well. This is one method to check for early signs of glaucoma, another leading cause of vision problems that presents itself commonly in older patients.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts, congenital cataracts, and glaucoma are just a few of the many reasons why we recommend getting regular eye exams. There is no better way to ensure long-term quality of vision and eye health than making sure you regularly consult with professionals on your specific needs.
Continue reading: The Difference Between Glaucoma vs. Cataracts
There is widespread myth and misinformation on the subject of non-surgical cataract treatment. Homeopathic suggestions abound, ranging from apple cider vinegar to honey, but none of them really work. While there is research being conducted on non-surgical cataract treatment, nothing has yet revealed itself as a miracle cure.
The only current way to treat cataracts is through surgery. And while making healthy choices can prevent you from developing cataracts, there is no way to reverse their growth once they have developed. That said, cataract surgery has gotten much more advanced than it once one. Patients now spend well under an hour in the chair and only 24-48 hours in cataract surgery recovery.
If you are concerned about cataract surgery costs, Eye Center of Texas offers financing and payment plans because we believe that clear vision should be attainable for everyone.
Looking for a cataract surgeon in Houston? Call Eye Center of Texas to discuss different surgery options.
If you think you or a loved one has exhibited any of the signs of cataracts in women, we encourage that you see an eye doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options.
The cataract surgeons at Eye Center of Texas have performed over 80,000 successful cataract surgeries and are regarded as some of the finest in the country. If you need guidance on the path to healthy vision, our renowned doctors can help you determine whether you would be a good candidate for cataract surgery, LASIK, or any other corrective eye surgeries.
Call Eye Center of Texas today at 713-797-1010 or request an appointment with us online.
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