June is Cataract Awareness Month! At Mann Eye Institute, we want to make sure your eyes are happy and healthy well into your golden years. If you’re concerned cataracts might be affecting your day-to-day life or you have questions about when they could become an issue for you, we want to answer your questions.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are an inevitable part of aging. As we get older, the natural lens of our eye becomes clouded, therefore blurring and dulling the vibrancy of our vision.
Cataracts typically start to develop around age 40. However, because they develop slowly over time, symptoms almost always appear gradually and typically start to become noticeable around 60 years of age. Because the changes happen so gradually, patients may not notice how disruptive cataracts have become to their life until their symptoms become severe.
Symptoms of cataracts may include:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Bright colors appear dull
- Glare from headlights, lamps or even sunlight
- Halos around lights
- Poor night vision
- Frequent glasses prescription changes
- Difficulty reading in low light
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms of cataracts, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or other concerning vision problems, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at your earliest convenience.
Cataract Treatment Options
Cataracts can lead to a more dangerous daily life for older patients if left untreated for an extended amount of time. For example, driving becomes less safe due to decreased visual acuity, therefore decreasing one’s independence and making it harder to get around daily. Additionally, people with cataracts are more likely to experience falls that lead to other serious medical complications. In fact, according to a 2018 study, the risk of falling decreased by 73% after treatment in both eyes.
Therefore, making sure you are maintaining a regular appointment schedule with your ophthalmologist is of the utmost importance. This way, they will be able to monitor your eyes and address issues as they arise. Once your cataracts develop enough, your ophthalmologist will likely suggest cataract surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will remove your eye’s natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens that is usually made of silicone or acrylic polymers.
Because the original lens has been entirely removed, cataract surgery has a near-100% success rate, according to the University of California, Irvine Health Center. You can read more about different types of cataract procedures here.
New Lens Options for Even Better Vision
As cataract treatment has advanced, options for the replacement lens put into your eye after your natural lens is removed have become more varied in order to give you even better vision than you had before your cataracts developed. At Mann Eye Institute, these lens options are called Active Life Lenses.
Which lens is selected for your eyes varies based on your lifestyle and what priorities you have for your vision. For instance, if you read a lot and want to prioritize close-up vision, you may be recommended one lens while if you spend a significant amount of time golfing and want to prioritize distance vision, you may be recommended a different lens.
Get On Your Way to Healthier Vision
If you are concerned about cataracts impacting your life and vision, we would love to meet you and address your concerns. To schedule an appointment, you can call us at 800.MY.VISION or contact us online.