Understanding Cataracts: Causes, and Treatment Methods

Living with vision impairment can affect your general productivity since routine activities such as reading, driving, and walking down the lane at night can become challenging. One of the eye problems that could affect your vision is cataracts – the clouding of the clear lens in your eye, which becomes more prominent with age. During its onset stages, cataracts do not affect your sight. However, as the condition progresses, your vision may eventually become impaired. Eyeglasses and more lighting may aid vision for people with cataracts. Cataract surgery in Jenkintown may be recommended other times based on the amount of difficulty engaging in day-to-day activities.

What is a cataract?

Cataracts are an eye problem whereby the usually transparent lens in the eye becomes opaque or cloudy, resulting in vision challenges. Eye lenses aid sight by focusing light on the retina to facilitate the appearance of clear images. A clouding on the lenses for people with cataracts causes blurred vision and distorted images. Cataracts can affect one eye or both. If one eye is involved, the condition may progress rapidly.

What causes cataracts?

The precise cause for cataracts is yet to be established. This condition is more common among the elderly compared to younger people. Although older people are at risk for cataracts, this condition may develop in individuals of different age groups due to alteration in the protein structure within the natural lens.

In rare cases, children can be born with cataracts due to systemic congenital infections and hereditary enzyme defects. Other causes of cataracts include eye surgery, trauma to the eye, intraocular inflammation, and exposure to ultraviolet light.

A cataract is also linked with multiple risk factors besides age, including smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and prolonged use of steroids.

How do I prepare for cataract surgery?

A consultation with the doctor should be the first step for any person with a cataract and needs surgery. Here is when you can ask your doctor all the questions regarding surgery. Asking questions is necessary to clear any uncertainties you may have about the procedure.  A consultation may involve eye evaluation to check for any problems. While the success rate for this procedure is generally high, this treatment may fail to improve vision for patients with underlying eye damage due to conditions such as macular degeneration.

 Although cataract surgery is among the safest procedures, sometimes patients may develop complications after treatment. During the consultation, your ophthalmologist will inform you of the possible complications associated with cataracts surgery, for example:

  • Inflammation
  • A shift in eye pressure or glaucoma.
  • Swelling may occur at the cystoid macular edema (back of your eye.)
  • Movement of the intraocular lens may require a second surgery to re-position, exchange or remove the lens.

Pre-guidelines before cataracts surgery

Temporarily discontinue the use of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal drugs, and dietary supplements as they are blood thinners and may cause excessive bleeding during surgery.

Furthermore, do not consume any drinks or food at least 12 hours before the procedure.

If your eyes are sensitive to light and glare or your vision is clouded, dim, and blurred, schedule an appointment with your doctor at Suburban Eye Associates for evaluation and treatment to improve your quality of life.