Cataracts are a common problem to deal with when you age. They develop when the proteins in the eye’s lens clump together and cloud your vision. Although you can live with this condition, you must consider surgery, especially if it causes significant vision loss.
Cataract surgery involves the removal of the clouded lens of the eyes and replacing it with a clear synthetic version. Before, the procedure required patients to be in the hospital for many days and go through a long recovery period at home. But, surgeons today operate under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, so you will be back to your normal activities within days.
Common Causes of Cataracts
The lens of your eyes is used to focus light to the retina and it adjusts the eye’s focus for you to see things clearly for both close and distant objects. The lens consists mainly of protein and water. The protein is organized to keep the lens clear so the light can easily pass through. Over time, the protein may build up a small cloudy part of the lens. When the cloud becomes bigger, it forms a cataract. Factors that have been identified to cause a cataract include diabetes, obesity, hypertension, smoking, UV radiation, high alcohol consumption, and more.
Signs you Need Surgery for Cataracts
Often, cataract formation takes place gradually. Your eyes’ lenses become less transparent, thicker, and less resilient. By age 80, half of people will have cataracts. Teasing out the impacts of a developing cataract from other age-related vison changes is difficult. In the early stages, you may become more nearsighted, which is an issue that can be corrected with glasses. But, while the cataract progresses, you will experience worsening night vision and find colors looking duller.
To know whether or not you need surgery for your cataracts, you must see an eye doctor to track your progress. Many cataract symptoms indicate you need a surgery. These include the following:
- Difficulty seeing in the dark. If you have cataracts, you will find driving at night harder. Daily activities such as reading may also become tougher. If your cataracts are fully developed, you will need a bright light to clearly see the words on every page of your book. This could indicate that you must consider surgery.
- You are sensitive to light. Things such as bright interior lighting or sunlight may cause you pain. This can happen if your cataracts are growing on the back of your lenses.
- You experience halos. Cataracts block parts of light, so you may experience halos around sources of light such as streetlamps and headlights. When halos are combined with problem seeing at night, driving becomes even more dangerous.
After you talk to your eye doctor, you will set a date for your surgery. The surgery is meant to remove the lens in your eye. After removal, it will be replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. As you recover from your surgery, your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to take care of your eyes. You must follow these instructions carefully because your eyes will be quite fair after the procedure.