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Cataracts - Symptoms and causes

Updated: Feb 21

As we age, our vision can start to become cloudy, making it difficult to see the world around us. This is a common condition known as cataracts, and it affects millions of people each year. But what exactly are cataracts, what causes them, and how can we prevent them? Let's take a closer look.

What are Cataracts?

At its core, a cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye that interferes with your vision. Imagine trying to look through a foggy window on a rainy day - that's similar to what someone with cataracts experiences. Over time, the proteins in the lens can start to break down and clump together, leading to a gradual decline in vision. This can cause sensitivity to light, double vision, and even complete blindness if left untreated.

How can you notice the first signs of cataracts? At first, symptoms might go unnoticed, since the first stage of the disease is mild. Only your eye doctor can detect this at your annual eye exam. Over time your eyesight will change and you might notice that everything suddenly looks dim and not as colorful as it was before. Cataracts will block the entry of most light, which means you will need more brightness in order to see, being similar to night-blindness, you will find it harder driving at night.

cataracts treatment

Triggers for Cataracts

While aging is a primary risk factor for developing cataracts, there are other triggers to be aware of. Habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can damage the lens and increase your risk. Air pollution, eye injuries, and certain medical conditions like diabetes can also play a role. And don't forget genetics - if your family has a history of cataracts, you may be more likely to develop them as well.

Protecting Your Vision from Cataracts

There's no way to guarantee that you'll never develop cataracts, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. First and foremost, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of vitamins, and avoid habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Regular eye check-ups as directed by your eye doctor can also help catch any early signs of cataracts, so you can get treatment as soon as possible. Finally, protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat whenever you're outside.

If you have already been diagnosed with cataracts, then the most common and effective treatment is surgical removal. During this procedure, the cloudy lens is carefully replaced with a clear artificial lens (intraocular lens). Additionally, some advanced IOLs can even help reduce the need for glasses after surgery. Another treatment option is the use of special glasses or magnifying lenses. It can help to temporarily improve vision in early stages of cataract.

Woodley Optometry has the best optometrists in Los Angeles area. Thanks to our professional and knowledgeable specialists, your vision health is in safe hands. We offer wide ranges of services to help you diagnose and treat eye diseases. From contact lenses to emergency eye care - Woodley is the one stop solution to all your eye problems. Don’t delay your eye doctor visit and book your appointment now!

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