Undoubtedly useful, incredibly complex, and typically beautiful, the human eye is an amazing thing. Unfortunately, our eyes change over time. The crystalline lens of the eye, for example, which allows us to focus on items at varying distances, often stiffens as we age. The condition, known as presbyopia, can create vision problems including the inability to focus. And when the eye can’t focus properly and lacks flexibility and clarity, a cataract may develop. Although cataracts tend to form naturally with age and are quite common, they can be slowed, reduced, and treated. Scroll down to learn how to treat cataracts.
How to Treat Cataracts
As we mentioned above, cataracts are a common eye issue that many people develop naturally with age. However, other factors are involved, including heredity, birth defects, chronic diseases, diabetes, eye injuries, and the use of steroid medications. Investigate your family’s health history to learn if cataracts are common.
Cataract symptoms develop gradually. First, you may notice a slight change in vision. Then, you may experience cloudy vision, sensitivity to light, frequent prescription changes, poor night vision, color changes, dimming, and double vision in one eye. Let your eye doctor or general physician know of any changes in your vision.
Although you can’t prevent cataracts, you can decelerate their formation. For example, you may be able to slow the development of a cataract by quitting smoking, reducing your blood pressure, losing weight, reducing your alcohol intake, or wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.
If your vision is only moderately affected by a cataract, you can correct the issue with prescription eyeglasses or contacts. However, when your vision loss surpasses an acceptable level and begins to interfere with your daily life and safety, you may need to pursue a more radical remedy.
To treat cataracts, you will need surgery. Scary though this may sound, cataract surgeries are very successful and quite common these days. In fact, cataract surgeries are the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, with more than 1.5 million completed each year (source). To improve your vision, your physician will replace your eye’s lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). Your physician will discuss the various lenses available to you, as IOLs come in different forms, including standard monofocal, multifocal, toric (for people with astigmatism), and more. The surgery is a quick, outpatient procedure.
Be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly, especially if you have a history of eye issues or diabetes, to discuss any concerns or vision changes. Although it’s impossible to avoid cataracts, you can learn how to treat cataracts and slow their formation. Finally, with your doctor’s assistance, you can decide whether your vision can be corrected through eyeglasses, contacts, or surgery. Good luck!
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