Cataracts are a leading cause of loss of vision, especially among senior citizens. Over 25 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. Almost 50 percent of individuals get cataracts by the time they are 75 years old. As some people get older, the eye’s crystalline lens turns yellow and begins to harden. The opaque area covering the eye lens is the cataract. Cataracts stop light rays from getting through the lens, making it difficult to see.
An individual can get cataracts in both eyes or just one eye. Cataracts do not spread from eye to eye. When someone develops cataracts, their vision is compromised. The condition causes blurry vision, difficulty with night vision, and dull color perception. Cataracts continue to get worse over time. It is important to understand how to detect and manage cataracts. Understanding the different stages of the disease will help you to know when to seek help.
Detecting the early signs and symptoms of eye disease is essential for proper management. Cataracts vary in terms of their severity. Correct treatment will depend on the progression of the disease as well as the type of cataracts the individual has. Some early signs of cataracts include cloudy vision, difficulty with night time vision, and increased light sensitivity. An individual may also notice glare and halos in their field of vision. The signs often begin slowly, but they get worse or more frequent over time.
The best thing about early detection is that you can slow down the progression of cataracts. Cataracts do not go from small to large overnight. Patients usually have time to consider their options and talk to specialists about treatment or prevention. Treating the symptoms early will help to slow and, in some cases, even stop the progression of cataracts. An ophthalmologist can give an accurate diagnosis and will help to plan the best course of treatment. It is important to know that cataracts will not go away on their own. If left untreated, they can cause blindness.
There are some things that an individual can do to slow down the development of cataracts. They include eating a diet that is “eye-healthy.” Some foods that can help include nuts, leafy greens, whole grains, and fish. Wearing sunglasses while outdoors will help to protect the eyes from exposure to sun rays that can increase cataract growth. Find out about any side effects of medications that you may be taking. Some medications can promote cataract growth.
Undergoing regular eye exams will help with early detection and managing cataracts. An eye specialist will be able to track the progression of cataracts and plan the best course of treatment. This will help to deal with early symptoms before they become too serious. If you have cataracts, you need to talk to the eye specialist about the available treatment options. The doctor will conduct several tests, including visual acuity testing, retinal exam, and slit-lamp examination.
If the disease is in its later stages, find out about cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the only effective treatment for the condition.
Learn more about detecting & managing cataracts, contact Smoot Eye Care in Bedford, IN at (812) 675-4199 to book an appointment today.