Unfortunately, cataracts are a common part of getting older – but the good news is that they are easily treated. Read on for some information on what cataracts are and how the Eye Care Institute can help you to deal with them and see better.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts can develop in children, and some newborns may even have them, but most often they occur in older people. It is thought that more than half the people who are over 80 have had cataracts. Cataracts form when the tissue in the lens starts to break down. These bits of tissue start to clump together and make vision foggy. Cataracts aren’t typically painful, and they usually develop in both eyes.
You may be developing cataracts if you have noticed your vision getting cloudy, difficulty seeing at night, a sensitivity to bright light, double vision, or a “halo” around lights when you drive at night. You might also notice that you need brighter and brighter light to see correctly, especially when you are reading.
How are cataracts treated?
If your cataracts are not serious, a new prescription for contacts or glasses may be all that you need. However, cataracts typically get worse, and many people need surgery to get rid of them.
One option to get rid of contacts is laser cataract surgery. A tiny incision is made in the eye while the patient is under topical anesthesia. The old lens is removed and a new lens is implanted. The new lens will be properly powered to give you optimal vision. Stitches aren’t needed in most cases, and most patients only report minimal discomfort and are back to their normal activities within a few days.
What can I do to prevent cataracts?
Cataracts are a very typical, very normal part of aging, but you can help to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke, and having your eyes checked regularly.
If you just aren’t seeing like you used to, cataracts may be the problem. Make an appointment right away at The Eye Care Institute, at the office in Santa Rosa or Petaluma. Call (707) 546-9800 today!