Although you have probably heard of the term "cataract," you may not know exactly what this is, how it affects your vision, or what your options are for improving vision. Here at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we will be pleased to educate you and provide you with options that make sense for all aspects of your lifestyle.
For people over the age of 60, cataracts are one of the most common reasons for deteriorating vision. But what is it? The lens of your eye is shaped and sized similar to an M&M candy except that it has a clear shell and clear protein material inside the shell when we are born. It is located directly behind your iris which is the colored part of your eye with a central hole called the pupil. As we age, the naturally occurring proteins inside the shell gradually become less flexible and then clump together. This slowly turns normally transparent lenses into cloudy ones, preventing light from properly passing through your eye, thereby creating various vision problems.
Cataracts don’t just pop up overnight. In fact, you may not realize you have cataracts in the early stages as they may not yet affect your lifestyle. However, if left untreated, cataracts can eventually make simple tasks, like reading and driving, more and more difficult to perform.
While aging is a major contributor to the formation of cataracts, other factors include disease, injury, birth defects or even side effects from certain medications. Symptoms of cataracts include:
Cataract surgery is a way to alleviate these symptoms.
Cataracts can occur in one or both of your eyes, and the position of your cataract can affect your vision in different ways. The only way a cataract can be properly diagnosed is with a dilated exam. If your eyes are not dilated, your eye care provider will not have full view of your lens. There are four types of cataracts: