Cataracts are a treatable condition, but it is important to stay on top of it. Marked by cloudiness of the lenses of your eyes, cataracts can start off benignly but eventually there will form an obstacle to your vision that affects your quality of life. Somerset Hills Eye Care Center wants you to be aware of the causes and symptoms of cataracts and impress upon you the importance of seeking treatment for them. Our Stirling eye doctor, Timothy P. Sullivan, MD, will diagnose your cataracts, present treatment options, and offer recommendations.
On a base level, the cloudiness that occurs in your lenses is the result of protein buildup. As new cells form on the outside of your lenses, the older cells are pushed to the center, leading to compromised vision. The root causes of cataracts are more varied. It can be genetic, forming in childhood or even being present at birth. Diabetes and certain other diseases are associated with cataracts as is exposure to radiation. Diuretics and corticosteroids and certain other drugs are sometimes linked to the formation of cataracts. Smoking and heavy alcohol use are lifestyle choices that may lead to cataracts. And let’s not forget that the aging process itself can be the culprit. Greater than 50% of cataract cases happen to people 65 or older. With so many possible causes, it may seem quite challenging to prevent them. And indeed, other than quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol consumption- good ideas for your health in general- there isn’t any effective way to prevent cataracts. The best strategy is to have a yearly eye exam with our Stirling eye doctor and to be aware of the symptoms that might indicate you have cataracts.
Symptoms generally are not present early on, but as the disease advances, blurred or foggy vision, the feeling of a film over your eyes, problems with night glare when driving, double vision, changes in your perception of colors, and a sudden change in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription are all signs of possible cataract presence. You should also be suspicious if you no long need your reading glasses, a pleasant occurrence but a probable symptom of cataracts. Schedule an exam with our Stirling eye doctor if you notice any of the above mentioned signs.
Left untreated, cataracts can make it difficult or even impossible to drive, read, or work. Total blindness from cataracts is rare, however. Even so, loss of vision at any degree is a threat to your independence. Our Stirling eye doctor can do something about that.