Cataract Questions and Answers from Our Hendersonville Optometry Team
If you have been told that you or someone you love is developing cataracts, you may be frightened, concerned or just plain confused about what this eye disorder is all about. That's why our Hendersonville, North Carolina optometry team at Hendersonville Eye Care has prepared some answers to commonly asked questions about cataracts.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a problem that develops in the lens of the eye. The lens's proteins, which are normally arranged to be perfectly translucent, gather into thick clumps that start to cloud your vision.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts are most commonly a simple byproduct of the aging process, especially after the age of 65. But cataracts can also be produced or aggravated by excessive UV exposure, smoking, alcohol, certain medications and diseases such as diabetes.
Is there more than one kind of cataract?
There are actually several different categories of cataracts. The most common kind, which forms in the front center of the lens, is called nuclear cataracts. Another type called a cortical cataract may take on a spoke-like or wedge-like form. Posterior capsular cataracts form in the back of the lens instead of the front.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Early or "trace" cataract formation may not affect your vision noticeably. As the cataract develops, you may see rays or halos around bright lights at night; you may also have poor nighttime or low-light vision. You may have more trouble seeing certain colors, and your visual field may start to appear yellowish. Images may appear blurry or doubled, and you may need frequent corrective lens updates.
How does my eye doctor diagnose cataracts?
Your eye doctor at Hendersonville Eye Care (Dr. Cannon, Dr. Kilgo or Dr. Kampe) can perform a comprehensive eye exam and vision test to detect signs of cataracts. Retinoscopy reveals how well the lens is relaying light to the back of the eye. An illuminated magnifying tool called a slit lamp can examine the lens for cloudiness. Vision testing tells the optometrist how rapidly your corrective lens prescription is changing.
Can cataracts cause blindness?
If left untreated, cataracts can eventually thicken to the point that they make you blind. In fact, cataracts are a leading cause of blindness worldwide.
How do I ward off cataracts?
It's impossible to guarantee that you never get cataracts. But smoking cessation, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, getting good nutrition and controlling underlying health problems can all help.
I've been diagnosed with cataracts. What should I do?
If your cataracts are still small, we may simply monitor their progress and adjust your corrective lenses accordingly. Once we can no longer compensate in this manner, we may refer you to an eye surgeon for a simple, painless cataract removal procedure. Afterward, we will perform the necessary post-operative vision tests and eye evaluations to make sure you're enjoying optimal vision.
Have more questions about Cataracts? Contact Hendersonville Eye Care
Call 828-693-5205 to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at our Hendersonville, North Carolina clinic. We can help you cope with cataracts!