If your vision is slowly deteriorating, you may be developing cataracts. Cataracts are diagnosed by a routine eye exam. After diagnosis, you will be referred to an eye specialist for treatment. If you do not receive treatment for your cataracts, the condition can lead to blindness. Below is a brief guide to the causes, symptoms and treatment of cataracts.
The Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts form when proteins within the lens of your eye begin to cluster together. The protein clusters can block light from entering your eye and reaching your retina. This results in cloudy vision which worsens over time. There are a number of lifestyle factors which can increase the likelihood that you will develop cataracts such as, diabetes, smoking and a poor diet.
The Symptoms of Cataracts
The symptoms of cataracts include blurred or cloudy vision, sensitivity to bright lights, seeing flashes of light or floaters within your field of vision and colour beginning to fade.
The Treatment of Cataracts
While mild clouding of your eye lens will not have a massive impact on your quality of life, eventually it will begin to interfere with daily activities such as watching TV and reading the newspaper.
The only treatment available for cataracts is surgery. Eye drops or injections will be used to anaesthetise the area around your eye. The surgeon will then use ultrasonic sound waves to break up the lens within your eye. They will then remove the lens using a suction device. The surgeon will then insert an artificial lens made of plastic.
Your surgeon will either insert a basic lens, which means that if you required glasses beforehand you will still need to wear them post surgery. Or, they will insert a more advanced lens which has the ability to focus, which will allow you to see without the need for glasses.
The surgery should provide an almost immediate improvement in your ability to see. However, as with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk that complications will occur such as infection and post op bleeding. Your surgeon should discuss the potential risk and benefits with you in detail before you undergo treatment.
If you think you are displaying the symptoms of cataracts, you should book an appointment with an optometrist to have your eyes examined, and to talk about the options for cataract surgeries. If you have cataracts you should know that you do not need to struggle with poor vision. Book an appointment today for an assessment and treatment of your cataracts.