A cataract occurs when the natural lens of your eye begins to get cloudy. Cataracts generally come on slowly, and you don't realize that you have a cataract until it grows to a size where it inhibits your vision. Some people describe a cataract as if they are looking through a smeared window, while others state that their vision is simply blurry from a cataract. For some individuals, the first sign that a cataract is causing problems is that a light or the sun seems way too bright, or they begin to have trouble with oncoming cars at night because of the bright headlights. If you think you might be suffering from a growing cataract, it's time to make an appointment with your eye doctor to see what's going on.
Causes of Cataracts
The lens of your eye works by focusing to allow you to see clearly from far away or near. It consists of mostly water, and a clear lens allows for the passage of light. The light reaches your retina, and you are able to see images clearly. In addition to water, your lenses are also made up of proteins. If these proteins start to clump together, you will notice that a small part of your lens has clouded up. This cataract may stay this way for years, or it may get bigger over time, making it more difficult for you to see clearly.
While you can't stop cataracts from forming, there are some noted issues that can increase your chance of getting cataracts which include:
- Exposure to ultraviolet rays without protection
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese
- Smoking cigarettes
- Medications used to control cholesterol or corticosteroids
- A family history of cataracts
- Heavy alcohol consumption throughout your lifetime
While this list is not exhaustive, it can contribute to the development of cataracts over time.
Treatment for Cataracts
Once you have tried stronger glasses and they are no longer able to help you see better, surgery for your cataracts is necessary. Cataract surgery is a common procedure, and is often done in the laser cataract surgeons office during an office visit. The procedure removes the cloudy lens of your eye, and replaces it with a synthetic, clear lens that will allow you to see well again. Surgery is an effective treatment for most patients, as long as their vision problems are just the cataract and not more complex. For more information, check out sites like http://www.tyreecarrmd.com.