Cataracts develop when the lens of the eye grows more and more opaque. As the buildup of cloudiness increases, it becomes harder for the eyes to process and focus light. We discussed last week that every person faces the risk of developing cataracts as he or she ages. Certain risk factors, such as genetic history or health conditions like diabetes, can increase the chances of developing them at an earlier age. Oftentimes the signs and symptoms are difficult to perceive. Many people who suffer from cataracts are not able to detect them until the opacity becomes a severe detriment to their vision. This is why it is important to have your eyes checked regularly for cataracts.
Cataracts can only be detected by a qualified ophthalmologist. If you find that your vision is growing dimmer, blurrier, or taking on a yellow tint, or if it is becoming harder to see on very sunny days or at night, then you should make an appointment to have your eyes checked. Sudden vision changes may require a more urgent doctor visit. If left untreated, cataracts can cause permanent damage or even blindness.
There is no way to stop the development of cataracts other than to undergo surgery after they have been detected. Wearing a good pair of UV blocking sunglasses can reduce your risk, but it will not prevent them completely. If you and your doctor do find that your changes in vision are due to cataracts, then you will likely be eligible for corrective surgery. Developments in medicine and technology have made cataract surgery a relatively short and painless process. It requires very little time in the operating room and has a short recovery time.
Those who undergo cataract surgery typically have most of their vision problems corrected. Vision impairments that may develop later on can still be treated with surgery such as LASIK or PRK as long as there has been sufficient recovery time between the two surgeries. The good news is that after having cataract surgery, the chances of another cataract developing are slim to none.
If you are curious to know more about cataracts, consider scheduling an appointment with one of the trained eye-care associates at Raleigh Eye Center today!