Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

Cataracts: Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment Options

Annual eye exams are recommended for most children and adults--and for those with existing eye or vision conditions, even more frequent exams may be suggested by your eye doctor. An annual eye exam can screen for signs of many eye and vision conditions or diseases, including cataracts. This eye condition primarily affects those over the age of 40, but with the right conditions, it can occur at any time in life.

Cataract Causes and Symptoms

Cataracts refer to a condition where the exterior lens of the eye becomes clouded over time. Each individual foggy "patch" on the eye lens is known as a cataract, and these spots can vary greatly in terms of their size and severity. Although age and family history are the most significant risk factors for cataracts, those whose eyes have experienced prolonged sun exposure are also more likely to develop the condition.

The most common symptoms of cataracts are blurry or foggy spots in vision, though, by the time people recognize these symptoms and see their doctors, the condition may already have progressed into the severe category. The good news is that routine eye exams will spot cataracts when they're still small, making them more manageable and easily prevented from growing.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you're experiencing signs of cataracts, you'll want to schedule an appointment with your eye care provider as soon as possible. A simple exam will be able to pinpoint the location and size of cataracts on one of both of your eye lenses. If you do have cataracts, your eye doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment and management of the condition.

In less severe cases of cataracts, medications or medicated prescription eye drops may be enough to stop the growth of cataracts and prevent them from becoming severely obstructive of your vision. However, in more serious cases where vision has already been compromised past a certain pain, cataract surgery may be required. This procedure involves removing the clouded lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens that will not be prone to cataracts again.

Cataracts are relatively common, especially those age 40 and older. Still, they can have serious consequences on your vision. The sooner you detect and treat cataracts, the more likely it is that you'll be able to prevent them from worsening and protect your overall visual quality in the process.

Contact a company like Leader Heights Eye Center for more information and assistance.