Cataracts are an almost inevitable part of the aging process. They may start developing in your forties or fifties but they won’t affect you at first. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and if you could have them in both eyes!
What Is A Cataract?
Cataracts occur because proteins in the lens of the eye break down. When proteins break down, it makes your lens cloudy and leads to vision loss.
Cataracts can cause other symptoms like glare, light sensitivity, and double vision. With cataracts, you may not realize you have them until they start impeding your vision.
Some people don’t need cataract surgery because their cataracts never fully develop. If you have a developed cataract, the only solution is cataract surgery.
Cataract Risk Factors
Age is one of the biggest risk factors for cataracts, but it is not the only one. Here is a short list of some of the biggest risk factors for the early development of cataracts.
- Certain medications, particularly corticosteroid medication
- Over-consumption of alcohol
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight
There is no way to guarantee you’ll never develop a cataract. But what you can do is reduce your risk of developing them early. Eliminating or managing cataract risk factors is the best way to do this.
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and keep your weight in check.
- Keep your blood sugar under control if you have diabetes.
- Talk to your doctor about the side effects of your medications and alternatives.
- Moderate your alcohol intake as much as possible.
- Quit smoking as soon as possible if you’re a smoker. Even reducing your tobacco use will help. Smoking is a direct reason why someone may develop cataracts earlier on.
- Talk with your doctor about lowering your blood pressure if it’s too high.
- Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection outdoors.
Cataract Removal Surgery
If you need cataract surgery, it’s good to have an understanding of what happens during the procedure.
The goal of cataract surgery is replacing the lenses affected by cataracts. Once the lens is removed, an artificial lens or IOL gets inserted.
Cataract surgery involves creating a small flap in the cornea. This allows your cataract surgeon to break the lens into smaller pieces and remove them.
The synthetic lens is then implanted where the lens once was. The flap in the cornea is closed and left to heal on its own with no stitches.
The surgery is fast, painless, and recovery is almost always uncomplicated. The surgery is also done one eye at a time.
If you do have a cataract in each eye, only one gets removed at a time. Your surgeon will allow a few days or even a few weeks to pass before removing the other cataract.
This allows you to maintain some vision while your first eye heals. During your recovery from cataract surgery, it’s much easier if you’re not almost blind!
Bring any questions or concerns with you to your cataract screening. We’ll be able to answer them and help you leave feeling assured and confident before surgery!
Ready to start your journey to clear vision? Schedule a cataract screening at Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA today!