What are the symptoms of cataracts?
If you have one or more of these symptoms, cataracts might be the cause:
- Double vision
- Needing more light to read
- Fading or yellowing colors
- Painless blurring of vision
- Glare or light sensitivity
- Poor night vision
Are these symptoms getting in the way of you living your life? Are you worried about your safety while walking or driving? Imagine if these symptoms could be improved – what would you be able to enjoy more?
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s lens. Normally, this lens is clear but when a cataract develops, it can blur, dim or yellow your vision. It’s also possible for a cataract to develop on the edge of your lens and you might not notice it at first if this happens.
What causes cataracts?
Age is the most common cause. As you get older, the lens in your eye may become cloudier. Some people are more genetically predisposed to cataracts than others.
Other factors have been shown to cause cataracts or make them worse, including smoking, diabetes, some medications, exposing the eyes to too much sunlight for many years or sustaining an injury to the eyes.
There are also congenital cataracts that can affect babies or children.
Can cataracts be prevented?
For the most part, they cannot be prevented. As you get older, there is a 50 / 50 chance that you’ll gradually develop cataracts.
When it comes to factors under your control, though, you are definitely able to do some good. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, wear UV-blocking sunglasses. If you smoke, consider quitting. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about how high blood sugar can cause eye problems. You may not be able to prevent cataracts, but you may be able to slow their development.
Just because cataracts can’t be prevented, that doesn’t mean they can’t be treated! Since 1971, we at Eye Centers of Florida have been helping people regain clear vision after living with cataracts.
How will having cataracts impact my life?
A cataract starts out small and, at first, has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting.
A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright/glaring or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.
The type of cataract you have will affect exactly which symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision, called “second sight”.
Unfortunately, the improved vision is short-lived and will disappear as the cataract worsens. On the other hand, a sub-capsular type cataract may not produce any symptoms until it’s well developed.
If you think you have a cataract, see an eye doctor for an exam to find out for sure. Here, you can discuss the causes of cataracts and discuss which cataract treatments will be most appropriate.
How are cataracts treated?
If you have cataracts, you might be wondering about your options.
There are no medications, eye drops, exercises, or glasses that will make cataracts go away or prevent them altogether. Cataract surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. If you are no longer able to see well because of cataracts, you should consider cataract surgery.
We know how frustrating and worrying it can be to lose your vision. Every day here at Eye Centers of Florida, we talk to people with cataracts and help them understand their options. If you have cataracts, our doctors will be able to provide you with the same personal care, top expertise and modern technologies that we’ve successfully provided to tens of thousands of other people with cataracts.
When is the right time for cataract surgery?
Most age-related cataracts develop slowly over time, while cataracts caused by diabetes or other factors may progress more quickly. It’s impossible to predict exactly how fast they’ll develop in each person.
The best way to make this decision is to talk to us about how cataracts are affecting your life. We will be able to discuss what causes cataracts in your situation and, if they are a major problem for you, you can discuss the benefits of cataract surgery and the timing that works best for you. Knowing your options can give you peace of mind.
What can I expect from cataract surgery?
If you’ve decided that cataract surgery is your best option, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s a surgery with an exceptional success rate. Every year, more than three million people in the United States have the surgery and ninety-eight percent of patients report improved vision.
Your cataract surgery is likely to be an outpatient procedure involving a local or topical anesthetic and a mild sedative to make you more comfortable. Using a microscope and tiny instruments, your Eye Centers of Florida ophthalmologist will remove your eye’s natural lens and replace it with a permanent intraocular lens implant. You might want to further enhance your eyesight with premium intraocular lenses (IOL).
After surgery, we will prescribe eye drops and advise you to rest. We’ll schedule follow-up visits to check your eye and make sure it’s healing properly.
When will I be able to return to normal activity after my surgery?
Typically you can return to your normal activities within 24 to 72 hours of surgery. This should be discussed with your doctor before surgery. If your normal activities include physical work or working outdoors they may recommend a longer recovery period.
All surgery carries some risk. You should talk this risk over with us so you can weigh it against the benefit of improved vision. If you talk with us about cataract surgery, we’ll discuss the pros and cons with you so you can be comfortable with your options.
Cataract surgery complications are very rare, but include infection, swelling, bleeding and swelling or detachment of the retina. Fortunately, major complications are reported in only 1 of 200 surgeries nationally, which is a very good result.
There’s also the risk that surgery may not improve your vision as much as you would have hoped. Other conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy will not be improved by cataract surgery.
Sometimes months or years after cataract surgery, the capsule that holds the lens in place can become cloudy. If this happens, we can perform a second procedure that uses a laser to restore normal vision.
Overall, the success of cataract surgery is excellent.
What’s next? Get a cataract evaluation.
If you’re wondering what you should do next, we can help. You should set up an appointment with a cataract specialist at Eye Centers of Florida.
When you visit, the first thing we’ll do is examine your eyes and ask you about the cataract symptoms that are causing you problems. After we determine the cause of your symptoms, we’ll discuss lens and treatment options.
The first step is meeting with our expert team. We want to understand what’s bothering you, provide you with the most comprehensive set of treatments and procedures and help you choose the option that’s right for you. Most of all, we want to help you enjoy a life with better vision!
Why choose Eye Centers of Florida for your evaluation?
At Eye Centers of Florida, we have a complement of highly qualified doctors available to offer you world-class treatment for eye conditions. We are proud of our long history of service and on having built lifelong relationships with our patients.
Our state-of-the-art facilities are fully equipped to meet the needs of all our patients.