Are you worried you may have cataracts? Cataracts are a natural part of aging, and most people will develop them at some point. However, when you develop cataracts depends on your age, lifestyle, and family history.
Although cataracts are not preventable, you can take precautions to protect your sight. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts.
How Do I Know If I Have a Cataract?
The effects of cataracts increase over time, so you might not notice your symptoms at first. Cataracts develop when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy.
As the lens of your eye begins to cloud over, your vision will slowly become blurry and faded. Some people compare their vision to an old photograph that has gone yellow with age. Eventually, your sight will become so cloudy that you will have difficulty seeing.
Cataracts can also lead to sensitivity, “halos” around lights, and double vision. In addition, you might start having difficulty driving at night due to glare from oncoming traffic and streetlights. If it has gotten harder to find the right prescription, this could be another sign that your vision is getting worse.
Diagnosing cataracts is the first step to solving the problem. An experienced ophthalmologist can identify the signs and help you get the care you need.
What Can I Do to Prevent Cataracts?
Cataracts are not preventable. However, you can reduce your chances of developing cataracts at an earlier age by taking care of your eyes and limiting risk factors.
- Managing diabetes if you have it
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol
- Limiting steroid medications
- Protecting your eyes from the sun
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Reduce My Chances of Developing Cataracts?
Protecting your eyes is the best way to reduce your chances of developing cataracts at an early age. It is easy to take your vision for granted, but it is necessary to make lifestyle changes and build good habits early on.
You can start by wearing sunglasses outdoors. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause sunburns and skin cancer, but they can also damage your eyes and increase your likelihood of developing cataracts.
Make sure to bring your sunglasses if you plan on spending time outdoors, even if it is cloudy outside. If you wear glasses, invest in transition lenses, buy sunglasses that fit your frames, or invest in prescription sunglasses.
Don’t forget to maintain your health — diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are all risk factors for cataracts. If you are a heavy drinker or smoker, try to limit these activities to stay healthier.
Can I Have Cataracts Again?
After having cataract surgery, you cannot develop a cataract in the same eye again. The natural, cloudy lens is completely removed and replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL) during the procedure.
You and your ophthalmologist will discuss your options for IOLs before cataract surgery. If you want to reduce your dependence on glasses, an advanced technology implant may be the best choice.
Are you wondering if you may need cataract surgery? Please schedule an appointment at Shoreline Vision with our board-certified surgeons today.