3 Things to Know About Cataracts

In the complex field of ophthalmology, there are several eye conditions that experts encounter often on patients. One of these conditions is cataracts, which occur much later in a patient’s life, when the natural lens in the eyes becomes cloudy, also affecting the clarity of vision. Patients can learn more information about cataracts, such as the cause, symptoms and treatment options prior to visiting an ophthalmologist.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts are caused by a breakdown in proteins that exist within the lens. As people get older and reach the approximate age of 40, the protein starts to clump together, which disturbs the function of the lens. This important eye component bends the light rays into the retina, allowing for clear vision, as well as focusing close and far vision. The disruption of the protein distribution also affects these tasks, creating cloudiness.

What Are the Symptoms?

This condition manifests differently depending on the patient. Most people experience slight, subtle versions of these symptoms, which can grow severe over time.

  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Faltering night vision
  • Diplopia, or double vision
  • Faded or distorted colors
  • Inadequate light for reading

Ophthalmologists recommend that patients seek help if they experience any of the following symptoms. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help improve the quality of life and prevent the condition from worsening.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

Cataracts can be seen by some people as a common part of aging, but patients can mitigate the impact. People with milder cases of cataracts can improve their sight through new bifocals, improved lighting or anti-UV sunglasses. More extreme cases of cataracts are treated by trained surgeons such as Ryan Smith Lexington KY. Usually, this cataract surgery involves removing the affected lens and replaced with a plastic intraocular lens.

Even though cataracts are not uncommon in old age, patients can inform themselves to reduce the effect of the condition. Learning the symptoms and causes can help people seek treatment fast.