Have things started to look a little cloudy? Is it harder to see in the dark?
Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re not seeing color the same way. If you’re over 60, there’s a good chance those symptoms are from a cataract.
Cataracts form on the lenses in our eyes. The lenses consist mainly of water and protein. When we’re young, the protein is positioned to help keep our lenses clear.
As we age, however, the protein can form clumps (cataracts) that can make things look blurry. Cataracts can form when you’re in your 40s and 50s, but they don’t usually have a noticeable impact on your vision until you’re over 60.
And while most cataracts form with age, some can result from an eye injury, surgery, diseases such as diabetes, or lifestyle choices like smoking or drinking alcohol. Genetics can also play a role.
Sometimes cataracts form in children or are present when they’re born. Kids with cataracts often need surgery to remove the cataracts followed by long-term rehabilitation and treatment.
Ophthalmologists use several tests to determine whether a cataract is forming: an eye chart test, to see how well you can read at a distance; a dilated exam, to take a close look inside your eye; and tonometry, which is a test to measure the pressure inside your eye.
In adults, cataracts can be removed with surgery. If the symptoms aren’t affecting your vision too much, a new eyeglasses prescription and better lighting may be all you need to improve your sight.
When the cataracts impair your vision to the point where you can’t continue everyday activities like driving and reading, surgery may be the right treatment.
During the procedure, an eye surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens. Cataract surgery is very common and results in better vision for most people.
Dr. Kimberly McKinnon, a family medicine physician with Elmhurst Memorial Medical Group, is accepting new patients in Hinsdale. View her profile and schedule an appointment online.
From routine eye exams to complex eye surgery, the eye specialists at Edward-Elmhurst Health can take care of all your vision needs. Learn more.
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