A cataract is an eye condition that usually affects older people. However, cataracts can begin growing in the eye even as early as a person’s forties.
Fortunately, cataracts develop slowly. The visual effects of cataracts can take decades actually to become a problem.
The symptoms are usually manageable for many years until the symptoms begin to interfere with everyday life. Once they reach this point, cataract surgery is warranted.
Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and what age you may start developing them!
The lens of the eye is round and clear and is located inside the eye, behind your iris and pupil. It helps us focus light so we can see clearly.
As we get older, the lenses of our eyes can begin to become clouded over. This cloudiness is caused by proteins that break down and accumulate in the lens.
During the beginning stages, the protein clumps are so small that you will likely not notice them at all. As time goes on, the buildup grows more prominent and darker until it starts blocking light.
Eventually, it blocks enough light to affect your vision and can lead to total blindness if untreated.
You don’t necessarily need to get surgery as soon as you are diagnosed with cataracts. Since the growth is so slow, you can live with the symptoms for a while.
Here are some common symptoms that you might experience:
Once the symptoms impact your life significantly, it might be time to have your cataracts removed. You may notice it becoming more difficult to read or do activities around the house.
Driving may start to feel more dangerous. Ultimately, the decision is between you and your doctor.
The results from cataract surgery are very predictable, making it a very safe surgery. You will need to follow some basic post-op care instructions while your eye heals.
It can take up to six weeks to fully recover from the surgery, but you’ll likely be able to return to normal activity as soon as forty-eight hours. Before the surgery begins, you will need to do some work to prepare.
If you wear contacts, you may need to remove them two weeks prior to the procedure. You should also use lubricating eye drops several times daily to hydrate your cornea before the surgery.
Before the procedure, your cataract surgeon will help you choose a replacement lens. Since the protein inside the lens can’t be removed, surgeons remove the entire lens.
Once your cataract surgeon removes your natural lens, they will replace it with an artificial lens known as an IOL. You will be able to choose between a standard lens or a premium lens.
The best choice for you will depend on your vision goals. A standard lens will restore your vision; however, you will still require glasses for certain activities.
A premium, multifocal lens can reduce your dependence on glasses but will cost more. If you have astigmatism, investing in a toric or astigmatism correcting lens may be worth it.
Visit your eye doctor at Advanced Eye Care to discuss all your options and prepare yourself to live without cataracts!
Are you experiencing symptoms of cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Advanced Eye Care in New Lenox, IL!