A Closer Look At Cataracts
Cataracts are one of the most common conditions that affect vision. A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the eye, which develops from a buildup of proteins. They can occur in one eye, or both eyes. Most cataracts are caused by age-related changes in the eye, and more than half of Americans over the age of 80 have a cataract or have had cataract surgery, according to the National Eye Institute. There are currently more than 20 million Americans affected by this condition.
Causes of Cataracts
Over time, the natural proteins located in the lens of the eye begin to clump together. This is what forms the cataract. While the majority of cataracts are caused by aging, there are a number of genetic and environmental factors that may also lead to their development.
- Illness (such as Diabetes)
- Alcohol ingestion
- Medications (particularly steroids)
- Previous eye surgery
- Prolonged exposure to U.V. radiation
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts are not only relegated to the older population. Many middle-aged people develop cataracts in their 40s and 50s, however these early cataracts are small, and may not cause vision problems. As the cataracts become larger, those affected will notice a change in vision and may experience one or more symptoms. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to loss of vision, although this can be reversed with proper treatment. The most common symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurry or clouded vision
- Poor vision at night
- Presence of a "halo" around lights
- Double vision in one eye
- Frequent changes in eye prescriptions
Treatment Options for Cataracts
Patients who suspect that they might have a cataract should undergo a series of diagnostic tests. The ophthalmologist will determine if a cataract is present, and if so, recommend the best treatment option for the individual patient. Early cataracts can usually be treated without surgery. However if a cataract worsens and begins to affect every day activities, such as driving, surgery may be necessary. Cataract surgery is minimally invasive, and painless in most cases. It is the single most common surgical procedures performed in the United States.
Our new laser-assisted cataract surgery provides the highest level of precision, and has the added ability to eradicate astigmatism. Premium lens implants are placed during cataract surgery, and can correct both distance vision as well as reading vision, eliminating the need for patients to wear glasses following the procedure. Patients interested in laser-assisted cataract surgery and premium lens implants are encouraged to discuss these options with their ophthalmologist.
Contact Westchester Eye Associates To Learn More About Cataracts
For more information about cataract surgery or any of the services we provide, please contact our Harrison office at (914) 949-9200 or our Yonkers office at (914) 476-0650 to schedule an appointment. The Staff at Westchester Eye Associates looks forward to meeting you!