The eyes change with age. If you are over 40 and you notice a blurriness in your eyes, is it normal, or might it be the beginning of cataracts? At the Livermore Optometry Group in Livermore, CA, our optometrist can perform an eye exam to check for cataracts. Following are the answers to several questions we frequently receive regarding cataracts.
What are cataracts?
As you age, the proteins in your lens begin to break down. They form clumps, which make your lens cloudy (the cataract). Cataracts grow slowly, but they do continue to grow. Cataracts aren't something that will just go away over time.
What are the symptoms?
In addition to cloudy or blurry vision, cataracts can also cause you to be sensitive to light, need more light for activities such as reading, make it harder to see at night, see halos around lights, and in some cases, cause double vision.
Are there any risk factors for getting cataracts?
Although most of us will get cataracts if we live long enough, certain risk factors can increase your chance of getting cataracts. A family history of cataracts, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, spending a lot of time in the sun, or other health issues such as diabetes can increase your chance of getting cataracts.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Usually, cataracts are determined through an eye exam such as the visual acuity test, slit-lamp examination, retinal exam, and applanation tonometry.
What is the treatment?
You may need to change your eyeglasses prescription in the early stages, but as cataracts progress, cataract surgery may be necessary.
Is there anything I can do to prevent getting cataracts?
There are some things you can do, although they yet proven to prevent cataracts. Research has shown that eating a healthy diet filled with antioxidants like vitamin C and E may help. If you do smoke, stop as soon as possible. And when outside, wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
If our optometrist detects cataracts, they will ask how you feel about your overall vision and talk to you about your treatment options. In the past, doctors would wait for cataracts to ripen - that is, does the cataract affect reading, watching television, and driving so much that they need to be removed. But cataract surgery has advanced so that the doctor can now remove them at any time.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometrist in Livermore, CA
Our optometrist at Livermore Optometry Group in Livermore, CA, is ready to provide the very best eye care for you today! Call us today at (925) 447-3883 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist.