Cataracts are usually closely associated with older age, but can include much more than simply bad vision. Cataracts are a specific condition that is common as you grow older and can require effective surgical intervention by a licensed ophthalmologist.
Your eye works by focusing light into your retina using a crystal-clear lens. When a cataract forms, the lens becomes obscured and you can no longer see clearly through it. Cataracts form when the proteins that make up the lens begin to break down and clump together. Cataracts can affect different areas of the lenses and can even be congenital. Protein breakdown, coupled with natural changes in the lens like less flexibility, less transparency, and increased thickness, results in what we commonly understand as cataracts. This occurs over the course of many years, causing substantial changes in vision.
Although many people experience cataracts later in life, there are some risk factors that can increase your risk. These include:
- Excessive sunlight exposure
- High blood pressure
- Excessive drinking
- Corticosteroid use (for prolonged periods)
- Eye surgery
- Eye injury or inflammation
It’s unknown how to prevent the development of cataracts, but they can be addressed early on with regular eye exams and living a healthy lifestyle.
The most effective treatment options for cataracts are surgical options. Our ophthalmologists can perform laser cataract surgery to break up cataracts and remove the clouded lens from the eye, replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Often, correction for other vision problems can be performed at the same time as laser cataract surgery by selecting a lens implant that can correct for conditions like astigmatism or presbyopia. Laser cataract surgery is quick, efficient, and requires little downtime.
Cataracts can often take a toll on your vision, lifestyle, and the way you see the world. During an appointment, our ophthalmologists can accurately diagnose cataracts and recommend your best treatment options. To get started, contact Anh Nguyen Ophthalmology by calling or filling out our online form.