Cataracts Explained: What They Are And How To Treat Them
Cataracts occur when proteins in the lens prevent light from passing through, causing cloudy vision or vision loss. Even though younger people can get cataracts, it most often happens to individuals as they age. Unfortunately, a cataract can prevent you from performing everyday tasks, such as driving or reading. Patients with cataracts often feel less independent as a result.
So what are the early signs of cataracts, and can cataracts cause blindness? At Focal Point Vision, our board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists have adopted advanced techniques and technologies to diagnose cataracts and improve your vision. We can let you know what solutions are available and when to have cataract surgery. Call our team in San Antonio, TX to schedule an appointment today.
Can cataracts cause blindness?
Many of our eye patients want to know – can cataracts cause blindness? First, it is important for patients to learn how cataracts affect the eye. The lens of the eye works like a camera lens. It focuses light on the retina and adjusts our focus so we can see up close and far away. Lenses are mostly made of water and protein. As we age, some protein may clump together and create a cloudy area of the lens. If left untreated, this cataract could grow larger and make it very difficult to see. This means cataracts could lead to extreme vision impairment and, eventually, blindness.
While cataracts are often associated with individuals over the age of 40, anyone could get them. Besides advancing age, other risk factors include:
Family history of cataracts
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light
High blood pressure
Previous eye injury
Early signs of cataracts
Patients should be aware of the early signs of cataracts so they can get help as soon as possible. At first, a cataract does not have much effect on how well you see. You might notice a little blurry vision, as if you were looking through a cloudy piece of glass. Colors may not seem as bright as they did before. A cataract could also make sunlight too bright or glaring. It is very important to visit a professional who can review your symptoms and make a proper diagnosis. If you visit Focal Point Vision for a cataract examination, we can determine the extent of your case and give you a custom plan of action moving forward.
There is no concrete proof that cataracts can be successfully prevented. However, there are some studies that suggest certain nutrients and nutritional supplements could reduce your risk. This includes supplements like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Talk to your primary care physician about a diet that can benefit your personal health. Since exposure to ultraviolet light increases your risk, protecting your eyes with sunglasses may also assist with cataract prevention. We ask that you be wary of any products, such as over-the-counter eye drops, that promise to prevent cataracts.
Loss of vision due to cataracts could take away your ability to live independently. It can even be challenging to safely navigate your home. Cataract treatment is designed to address these problems directly so patients can improve their overall quality of life. Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX develops highly customized treatment plans for patients based on their symptoms and personal health.
When symptoms begin to appear, our ophthalmologists and optometrists will perform an examination and diagnose cataracts. We might recommend basic surgery or an implantable contact lens. Light-adjustable lens™ surgery is another treatment that could help you regain your vision. Our staff will let you know when to have cataract surgery and if this is the right option for you.
Learn about cataract prevention and treatment
Once cataracts have begun to develop, they cannot be reversed. And although cataracts are a natural part of the aging process, you do not have to live with them forever. The good news is that cataract treatment has come a long way in the last few years. Focal Point Vision is proud to offer safe and effective options for patients in San Antonio, TX. Our board-certified ophthalmologists and skilled optometrists can work with you by providing comprehensive eye exams every other year. During this appointment, we can let you know when to have cataract surgery and how the process works in our office.