Cataract Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
The biggest cause of blindness worldwide isn’t glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, as serious as those threats to vision definitely are. One eye disorder does more to rob people of their sight than all those other disorders combined — a progressive clouding of the lens known as cataracts. Fortunately, cataracts can be easily removed by modern surgical techniques, but early detection, combined with proper pre-operative and post-operative care, can all play a role in helping you conquer this problem as effectively as possible. Here at De Anza Vision Center we’re dedicated to helping you do just that.
Cataracts are somewhat mysterious, in that no one knows exactly why proteins in the lens should become cloudy and discolored over time. But we do know that there are different kinds of cataracts that are associated with specific risk factors, including UV exposure, age, smoking, alcohol abuse, diabetes, and the use of steroids or other drugs. There are three principal types of cataracts. Nuclear cataracts, which usually form in the center of the lens, tend to be age related. Early-stage cataracts can begin to form during middle age, often progressing until significant vision problems are evident after age 60. Subcapsular cataracts, which form toward the back of the lens, are associated with diabetes. Cortical cataracts begin toward the edge of the lens and work their way inward.
Whatever type of cause is involved, cataracts’ effects on your vision may be subtle at first. You might notice sparkling “halos” around streetlight bulbs at night, or your vision might appear slightly hazy. You may find yourself more sensitive to glare or seeing colors more dimly than before. These symptoms may worsen until you have difficulty reading, watching TV, driving or working. Our optometrist can detect the presence of cataracts, even in their earliest stages, by shining a bright light into your eye during a routine eye exam. The earlier you know about your cataracts, the sooner you can take the proper steps to minimize their progress. these may include dietary changes (such as consuming more vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids) to wearing UV protection on your eyes whenever you go outside.
Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Cataract Care at at De Anza Vision Center
A diagnosis of cataracts causing significant vision impairment generally calls for surgery. But don’t worry — modern cataracts surgery is quick, painless, and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon will numb your eye and then make a tiny incision in the lens capsule to break up and remove the cataract. You’ll then receive a crystal-artificial lens so can see beautifully once more.
Our clinic can provide the necessary pre-operative testing and other care to prepare you. Following surgery, we can evaluate your vision, prescribe antibiotic eye drops as a follow-up treatment, and provide you with helpful advice until your eyes are 100 percent again. Contact De Anza Vision Center to learn more!