Cataract Awareness Month: 6 Things You Should Know About Cataracts

Cataract Awareness Month: 6 Things You Should Know About Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of treatable blindness. A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye and is commonly caused by age, certain medications, or genetic predisposition. Having cataracts may feel like you are constantly looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield, unable to focus on objects within your view. The most common symptoms of cataracts include hazy vision, double vision, poor night vision, and colors that may seem to fade. The only way to know for sure if you have cataracts is by visiting your optometrist to have a comprehensive eye exam performed. Without treatment, the progression of the eye condition can lead to loss of vision.

6 Facts About Cataracts

1. Cataracts Can Occur At Any Age
One of the most common misconceptions about cataracts is that they can only occur in elderly individuals. Cataracts are indeed more common in older people, however, there is still a risk of developing the condition at any age, especially if you have a family history of cataracts. 

2. Sun Exposure Can Increase Your Chances Of Developing Cataracts
Many of us already know the dangers that UV rays have on our skin, but did you know that UV rays can also be incredibly harmful to your eyes? UV rays can speed up the breakdown of the proteins within the lens of the eye causing cataracts to form. To prevent this, ensure you are wearing sunglasses year-round, even in the winter. Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory, they are also made to protect your vision and eye health. 

3. You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cataracts
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent developing cataracts, however, you can take certain measures such as wearing sunglasses regularly to reduce your risk of developing the condition in the future. Also make sure you are eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco products to keep your vision sharp and eyes healthy.

4. Cataracts Develop Painlessly 
People often do not realize they are slowly developing cataracts until they have experienced significant vision damage because the condition does not exhibit pain in its early stages. Cataracts are not usually painful until they have developed to the point where they cause extreme sensitivity to light. If you are experiencing sensitivity to light, you must visit your optometrist right away so they can determine the cause of your light sensitivity and offer a treatment plan to restore your vision or prevent it from progressively getting worse in the future. 

5. A Cataract Cannot Spread From One Eye To The Other
Many people have the impression that cataracts can spread from one eye to the other. Scientifically this is not true. Cataracts can affect either just one eye or both eyes simultaneously or at different times.

6. Treatments For Cataracts
When your prescription glasses can no longer improve your vision, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear, artificial lens. The artificial lens is positioned in the same place as your natural lens and remains a permanent part of your eye. Cataract surgery is highly effective and safe and has been used to restore vision for many people. It is a quick, outpatient procedure meaning that you will not have to stay in the hospital following the surgery. Your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist who will perform the surgery. After your surgery, you may have some discomfort in your eye, but healing generally occurs within a few weeks.

Cataract Management Calgary

Cataracts often develop slowly before you notice changes in your vision. You must visit your optometrist regularly so they can detect the early signs of several eye conditions such as cataracts and get you on a treatment plan before your vision is severely affected. Being proactive about visiting your eye doctor and protecting your eyes from the sunlight can help ensure that your vision is in tip-top shape for many years to come. 

To find out if you are at risk of eye health conditions such as cataracts or to book an eye exam to check the quality of your vision, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic in NE Calgary. Our experienced optometrists can assess your vision and develop a personal treatment plan to help you see clearly. Book a comprehensive eye exam today by calling 1-403-280-7518 or book online.

FAQ

Q: Can children get cataracts?
A: Yes, they can. Although it is rare, cataracts can occur in children. 

Q: How long is a comprehensive eye exam?
A: A comprehensive eye exam will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the tests performed by your optometrist.

Q: Is there a cure for cataracts?
A: The only way to restore your vision from cataracts is by undergoing cataract surgery. Depending on the severity of your cataracts, your Calgary optometrist will determine if surgical intervention is needed.


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