Many people tend to take their eye health for granted — but losing the ability to see clearly takes away your enjoyment of activities and impacts your quality of life. When you start noticing your vision is not as good as it used to be and even your glasses aren’t correcting your vision, it’s time to check for cataracts.
While cataracts may only interrupt your vision slightly at first, as time goes on and your lens becomes more cloudy, advanced cataracts can cause major visual and functional changes to your eyes. In order to maintain good vision as well as your quality of life, it’s important to know when you should have your cataracts examined by your eye doctor.
What You Need to Know About Cataracts
What is a Cataract?
Cataracts develop when the focusing lens behind your pupil becomes cloudy or dense, preventing light from properly traveling through your eye. These changes occur gradually over time, which is why patients often aren’t aware they have cataracts until the condition is more advanced. Typically, cataracts begin developing for adults in their 40s and 50s.
What are the Signs of Cataracts?
Cataracts are not painful, so you will not feel any irritation as your lens becomes more cloudy. Instead, you may notice:
A loss of clarity or brightness of colors
Sensitivity to light, causing “halos” or glare, especially when driving at night
A loss of depth perception
You can take our self-evaluation quiz to assess if you’re experiencing the first signs of cataracts. If you are, we can schedule a consultation for you.
Are There Risk Factors for Developing Cataracts?
Everyone will develop cataracts at some point in their life — it’s a natural part of aging. However, you may develop cataracts sooner if you:
Experience trauma to the eyes
Have systemic diseases, such as diabetes
Take certain medications, such as steroids
Have prolonged exposure to UV light
There is no way to prevent cataracts. Even those with the healthiest eyes will develop cataracts at some point later in life. That’s why it’s important to have regular eye exams so your doctor can spot any early signs of cataracts. It’s better to address cataracts before they advance to avoid complications.
What Issues Do Cataracts Cause?
Since cataracts prevent light from entering your eye as it should, they leave you with cloudy or blurry vision. While you may think that this won’t affect your day-to-day life too much, it actually can. If left untreated, cataracts can cause you to have difficulty:
Driving at night
Reading your computer or phone screen
Seeing traffic lights and roadway signs
Watching TV and movies
Identifying people’s faces
Seeing the ball when playing sports
Enjoying crafting, sewing and art projects
When Should I Have My Cataracts Examined?
You should have an annual eye check-up, which is designed to pick up a range of conditions, such as cataracts. However, if you have missed one of your exams, cataracts may have advanced over time. That’s why it’s important to schedule your eye exam as soon as possible— especially if they begin interfering with your daily life and causing issues like the ones mentioned above.
When is Cataracts Surgery Necessary?
The only way to treat a cataract is to surgically remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens to improve your vision. With new modern technology, there is an option for lasers to perform some of the most delicate parts of the procedure.
What Lens Should I Choose for Cataract Replacement?
The type of lens you choose will often depend on how willing you are to still be reliant on glasses or contacts. Standard lenses will often require you to still need glasses or contacts for near, far, or middle vision, while high-tech lenses can significantly reduce your need for glasses at all distances. Many patients who choose high-tech lenses no longer need their glasses at all.
Cataract Care and Surgery in Dallas
You’ll find our team of experienced eye doctors are both knowledgeable and caring. We are dedicated to improving your vision and will provide all the information you need to move forward with confidence and comfort. We put our patients first and provide access to the most advanced techniques and state of the art equipment available. If you have any questions, we invite you to ask us. We’re here for you.