A clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil in people over age 40, is known as cataracts. It is the primary cause of blindness in the world and while it is a condition directly related to ageing, diabetes, smoking, significant trauma to the eye, exposure to radiation, prolonged exposure to sunlight, high blood sugar, prolonged use of oral corticosteroids, genetic illnesses such as Wilson’s disease or Down syndrome are also risk factors for the development of cataracts.
Cataracts are neither painful nor do they make the eye itchy or red; however, the type of cataract someone has will directly affect the symptoms they will experience and how soon they will occur. Cataract surgery has been found to be extremely successful in helping patients with serious cataract-related vision impairment to regain their eyesight. A cataract surgeon surgically removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a clear, plastic IOL or intraocular lens.
Different Types of Cataracts
There are three main types of cataracts that affect different parts of the eye lens or a combination of all three. Consider the following:
- The posterior sub capsular cataracts – Where the lens develops major opacity
- Nuclear cataracts – Affects the center of the lens
- Cortical cataracts – The side of the lens appears whitened and in many cases vision impairment
- Congenital cataracts can be nuclear, cortical, or sub capsular and are present from birth as a result of an infection contracted by the mother during pregnancy or due to a genetic condition.
Knowing the Signs and Symptoms
To the untrained eye, cataracts may be difficult to detect, but the first signs will be a hazy or blurred vision. You should consider seeing a cataract surgeon if you experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Visible white spots on the pupil
- Difficulties with night vision, particularly when you are driving at night
- Intense sensitivity to light, glares, or halos
- A repeated change in your glasses or contacts prescription
An eye doctor or surgeon will conduct a series of tests such as a visual acuity test where you will be asked to read a series of letters off of a Snellen eye chart posted 20 feet away from you. A slit lamp exam allows your doctor to check for other serious eye conditions. There is also other eye tests known as the glare and contrast sensitivity test, tonometry test, Ishihara color test, all used in diagnosing advanced cataracts as well as other eye problems such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
A Solution to the Problem
While there is nothing positive about having your eyesight impaired, the good news is that cataracts only affect the lens and cataract surgery only comes highly recommended when new glasses, contacts, anti-glare lenses, and magnification devices are not as effective. Also, if you do not receive a good score on your visual acuity, glare, contrast sensitivity, or Ishihara color tests or when your condition begins to affect the quality of your life in a negative way such as being unable to drive or productive at work.
If you are looking to reduce or even get rid of your eye glasses and/or contacts let us at Rohr Eye & Laser Center help you! We offer several types of LASIK eye surgery including PRK, AK, CK, Cataracts surgery and more. We perform all these eye laser treatments with state of the art equipment. We are a leader in laser vision correction, and our goal is to help you achieve superior vision. Contact us today or view our website http://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment.