What You Need to Know About Cataracts

Cataracts are an issue that can be easy to detect. Cataracts can damage the sight of the person affected. Sufferers often have clouding, either in both or only one eye and often notice that their vision is slowly declining.

 No one wishes to lose their vision. Luckily, cataracts can be corrected. This can be done through stronger lens prescriptions or even surgery, to completely remove the cataract. If you’re concerned that you or someone you love might be having issues with Cataracts, then read further for more information on this troublesome eye issue.

Common Symptoms of Cataracts

As a cataract develops on the lens of an eye, sufferers may notice that they are no longer able to see well in dim lighting or pick up on fine detail. Their family and friends may also notice that their eye looks cloudy and it may be hard to view their pupil. If you notice some of the following symptoms, it may be time for you to visit your optometrists and get a thorough eye exam.

  • Cloudy, dim or blurry vision
  • Inability to read or view small detail in dim lighting
  • Colours appear faded
  • Strong sensitivity to bright lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision

3 Major Types of Cataracts

  1. Subcapsular Cataracts- This form of cataract develops at the back of the lens and is most common in those who have diabetes or take high levels of specific medications.
  2. Nuclear Cataracts- This type of cataract develops deep within the centre of the lens and is the form of cataract that is most commonly associated with aging.
  3. Cortical Cataract- This form of cataract first forms in the periphery of the eye and slowly moves into the centre of the lens.

Why Do Some People Develop Cataracts

  • Frequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation, both from natural sunlight and artificial sources
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Prolonged use of some medications
  • Previous eye injury, surgery or inflammation
  • High alcohol consumption
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants
  • Hypertension
  • Family history

Different Treatment Methods For Cataracts

  • New Prescription Lens- When a cataract starts to form, an optometrist may recommend a stronger prescription lens for glasses or contact lenses. While this is an easy and non-invasive method for correcting your vision affected by cataracts, this is not a permanent fix.
  • Cataract Laser Surgery- This is the most commonly performed surgery in the USA today, with most patients leaving their appointment with 20/20 to 40/40 vision once they are healed. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the lens affected by the cataract and replace it with a plastic  lens.

Different Types of Laser Eye Surgery for Cataracts

    Depending on the nature of your cataract and the tools and expertise of your surgeon, you may receive a different type of laser eye surgery.

  1. Phacoemulsification Contact Surgery- This procedure uses a foldable lens, therefore only a small incision needs to be made for handheld instruments to access the cataract. Ultrasonic energy is then used to break down the cataract and the lens is placed in the eye.
  2. Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery- A computer-controlled, high-speed laser is used to complete all the steps traditional done by handheld instruments, making the surgery faster.
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