Many individuals aren't aware that cataracts are the number one culprit for sight loss amongst those over 54. In fact, over half of the population above age sixty-five have some degree of cataract development.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's clear lens. This inhibits the transmission of light necessary for vision.
Signs of cataracts
Cataracts are sometimes brushed off as typical age-related vision loss, however there are certain characteristics to look for that characterize them. Depending on the type of cataract, you may experience blurry vision, increased glare from light or a decrease in color vibrancy. Some types of cataracts are completely asymptomatic until they are more advanced while others may even result in what is known as second sight'' or a temporary improvement in near vision.
Cataract derives from the Latin cataracta meaning ''waterfall''. This may be because the appearance of white opacities in the eye resemble the cloudy rush of water which also appears white. Cataracts that develop as a result of aging usually show an initial cloudiness in the lens, followed by swelling and shrinkage of the lens leading to a total loss of transparency and blindness.
Preventing and Treating Cataracts
There is no surefire way to prevent cataracts but some say that guarding your eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses can reduce cataract development. Some studies indicate that taking antioxidants and limiting salt intake may also prevent development.
During the initial stages, vision correction can help improve loss of sight, however, at some point vision may deteriorate enough to require surgery. Cataract surgery is in fact the most common surgery in America and is generally a success. Generally, the surgeon takes out the opaque lens and implants a clear plastic lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). In 90% of patients, nearly perfect vision is achieved.
Don't let vision problems go untreated. An annual eye exam is advised for every adult, particularly those over 40. Call our Costa Mesa, CA eye practice today to book an appointment.