Fill Up Form

What Are Cataracts and How Do They Develop?

Our vision is one of our most vital senses. As we age, our eye health can deteriorate, leading to complications such as cataracts. Regular visits to the optometrist become even more important as we get older. It's through these visits that conditions like cataracts can be detected early and treated effectively.

What Are Cataracts?


Cataracts are a common eye condition, especially among seniors. They occur when the lens of the eye, which is normally clear, becomes clouded. This clouding can impair vision, making it difficult to see clearly.

When you have cataracts, it's like looking through a fogged-up window. The world appears blurry, hazy, or less colorful. This can make it hard to read, drive a car, or even see the expression on a loved one's face.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally but can be effectively treated with surgery. However, it's important to detect them early for the best treatment outcomes.

How Do Cataracts Develop?


Understanding how cataracts develop can help us take steps to prevent or slow their progression. Cataracts develop when the proteins in the eye's lens start to clump together, forming a cloudy area. This process usually happens gradually over many years and is often related to aging.

Several factors can accelerate the formation of cataracts. These include prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can also contribute to cataract formation.

While we can't completely avoid cataracts as we age, we can make lifestyle choices that might help delay their onset. These include wearing sunglasses to protect against UV light, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.


Symptoms of Cataracts


Early in their development, cataracts may have little effect on vision. You might not even realize that you have them until they start to cause significant visual impairment.

As cataracts grow, they can cause a variety of symptoms. These include blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing "halos" around lights, fading or yellowing of colors, and frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to see an eye care professional. They can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine if cataracts are the cause of your vision problems.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams in Detecting Cataracts


Regular eye exams are crucial in detecting cataracts early. During an eye exam, your optometrist will perform a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for signs of cataracts and other eye conditions.

If cataracts are detected, your optometrist will discuss your treatment options. These typically include lifestyle changes, new eyeglasses, anti-glare sunglasses, or brighter lighting. If these measures are not enough, your optometrist may recommend surgery, which is the only effective treatment for cataracts.

Regular eye exams are even more crucial for seniors, as the risk of developing cataracts increases with age. By scheduling regular eye exams, you can help maintain your eye health and ensure the best possible vision.

Living with Cataracts and Maintaining Eye Health


Living with cataracts can be challenging. But with early detection and treatment, you can minimize their impact on your life. It's important to remember that cataracts are part of the natural aging process and not a disease.

Maintaining eye health as we age requires a proactive approach. Regular eye exams are vital, as is maintaining a healthy lifestyle to help delay the onset of cataracts and other age-related eye conditions.

To learn more on cataracts and how they develop, visit Special Eye Care at our office in Camp Springs or Largo, Maryland. Call (301) 298-3241 to book an appointment today.

Helpful Articles
kUOV063i none 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Closed optometrist # # # 1441 McCormick DR STE 1040 Largo MD 20774