Understanding Cataracts: Treatment Options for Blurred Vision
Optometrists Serving Conway and the Surrounding Areas
Cataracts are a medical condition in which the eye’s lens becomes increasingly clouded and opaque, obscuring vision. At Vaught Eye Associates, our eye doctors understand that any loss of vision can be an especially distressing experience. The good news is that with proper diagnosis, cataracts are highly treatable. We offer pre-surgical evaluations and post-surgical care, in addition to eye exams for cataract diagnosis.
Cataract Surgery Safe & Effective for Vision Improvement
In order to understand the treatment options for cataracts, it is important to understand how the eye normally functions. The human eye functions much like a camera. Light rays enter the eye and pass through the cornea, pupil and lens. The lens then bends these rays and focuses them onto the retina lining, where the image is transferred via the optic nerve to the brain, which then processes the image. Should the lens become cloudy due to protein buildup, the lens is unable to correctly focus the light rays thus causing reduced vision.
Cataracts are typically associated with older adults, although cataracts can affect individuals of all ages. Age-related cataracts are a result of aging; the risk for developing age-related cataracts is increased by exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution, as well as heavy alcohol consumption. Secondary cataracts may develop as the result of other medical conditions such as diabetes, or as a result of exposure to highly toxic substances, such as certain drugs (e.g., corticosteroids or diuretics), radiation, and ultraviolet light. Babies can also be born with cataracts; congenital cataracts are caused by infection, injury, or developmental issues in the womb.
Foggy, blurry or filmy vision is the primary symptom for cataracts. Other symptoms include a change in color perception, which is caused by lens discoloration. Glare from oncoming headlights may make it difficult to drive at night, and individuals may also experience issues with glare during the day. Double vision, such as a superimposed image, is also common. Finally, individuals may experience progressive nearsightedness, which is known as “second sight” for older individuals as they suddenly no longer need reading glasses.
If you are experiencing blurry, clouded, or filmy vision, you may have cataracts. Early diagnosis is essential to treating cataracts before your vision is further compromised. The first step is to schedule a diagnostic treatment session with one of our eye doctors. The doctor will dilate the pupil in order to examine the condition of your lens, as well as the entire eye. In some cases, vision may be able to be corrected to an acceptable level thanks to modifications to your existing eyeglass prescription. Bifocals or contacts may be able to reduce the immediate need for surgery. Should surgery be necessary, our eye doctor will help coordinate this procedure.
Cataract surgery is safe and effective; more than 1.5 million surgeries are performed each year with a better than 90% success rate for vision improvement. If cataracts are compromising your vision, you may be a good candidate for surgery. To learn more about cataract surgery, schedule an appointment with our eye doctors today!