Cataracts are common in older adults and are the result of clouding of the lens inside the eye. Over half of adults have either had cataract surgery or have a cataract by age 80.
Cataracts are usually the normal result of UV light. If you live long enough, everyone will have cataracts. Cataracts are not contagious. They cannot spread from eye to the other. Either eye or both of them can be affected by a cataract. Some patients do not realize they have cataracts until they see their eye doctor about progressive vision difficulties. Heredity can make patients more prone to developing cataracts, but they can also develop due to injury or aging. Long-term use of steroids, past eye surgeries, or diabetes can also cause cataracts.
New glasses, magnifying glasses, brighter lights, and anti-glare sunglasses outside will initially help improve cataract symptoms, but impaired vision typically progresses to interfere with daily activities. Surgery is then required. Cataract surgery is done an estimated 50 million times each year. It is safe and effective, providing considerable improvement in vision. It is performed in out-patient surgery centers.
Call Albright Eyecare today to be examined if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Blurry, dim, or clouded vision
Sensitivity to light
Seeing halos around lights
Glare off headlights or lamps
Worsening vision at night
Sunlight seeing too bright
Frequent eye prescription changes
Cataract comes from the Latin word origins cataracta, which refers to “waterfall”. Looking through a cataract can reduce vision and clarity just like looking through a waterfall. They are part of the human condition. If you live long enough you will experience cataracts in your eyes.
Cataracts can occur at any age but typically are more common as we age. Children can be born with cataracts and people can develop secondary cataracts at any age. Normally they develop from a process of filtering Ultra-violet light through the eyes. This helps protect the retina and macula, but it does cause changes in the intraocular lens that shift the density and hardening of the lens cortex. This is comparable to a window that yellows or fades over time from light passing through it.
The good news is that these lenses inside the eye that turn into cataracts can be replaced relatively easily. The surgery to exchange the lens typically can take about twenty minutes with outpatient surgery that doesn’t require general anesthesia. Proper assessment is required to know if vision is impacted by cataracts or something else. Once that has been confirmed there are different options available on how to correct the vision with an implant lens. Many times, patients will result in not needing glasses for some or all of their vision needs.
If you are concerned or feel your vision is compromised by cataracts, come see us and we will thoroughly explain all the findings and guide you on all the available recommendations.
AMD (Age related Macular Degeneration) affects over 10 million people in the United States. It is the leading cause of vision loss, more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the macula (the central part of the retina). The retina is the inner back layer of the eye and gathers the images we see. It then sends the images to the brain through the optic nerve. The macula controls all central vision and is imperative for reading, driving, identifying faces, seeing colors, and seeing fine details.
Unfortunately, macular degeneration is incurable. There are some treatments that can help delay the progression and possibly improve some vision. AMD is a very frustrating condition because we are very limited on the ability to manage and restore vision.
There are two types of macular degeneration, wet (exudative) or dry (atrophic). Dry AMD is the most common type in 85% to 90% of diagnosed patients. Wet AMD comprises the other 10% to 15%. Dry AMD is the early stage, usually resulting from aging and macular tissues thinning or pigment deposits in the macula (or a little of both). Dry AMD can cause a gradual central vision loss. Wet AMD is caused by new blood vessels growing beneath the retina and leaking blood and fluid. The leaking fluid kills light-sensitive retinal cells, which leaves permanent blind spots in the central vision. This vision is not typically recoverable. There is injection treatment for Wet AMD which can help “clean-up” leaking fluid and sometimes improve vision and prevent further vision loss. Continual monitoring is critical to determine if Dry AMD advances to Wet AMD and when treatment is necessary.