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What is Cataract and Can It Be Treated?

What is Cataract and Can It Be Treated?

Apr 01, 2021

A common concern among people diagnosed with eye cataracts is if they will suffer blindness or experience limited vision problems. While these things might develop, it is worth noting that eye cataracts are treatable and you can reduce the progression with early treatment.

What is Eye Cataract and How Does It Form?

A cataract is a dense, cloudy substance that forms in the lens of the eyes. As we age, protein breaks down and clump together around the eyes. With time, these clumps will grow, covering the lens and eventually cause blurry vision. You may also develop a double vision in the eyes. Although age is a common factor, cataracts may develop after physical trauma or illness that affects the eyes.

These protein clumps obstruct the light penetration in the eye, so it affects the image transmission from the retina and optic nerve to the brain. That’s why most people with cataracts usually have a problem judging how far an object is or experience difficulty differentiating colors.

Driving at night is also a challenge and they may develop nearsightedness. When you notice your vision is becoming blurry, foggy, or changes in how you see color, you need to get an eye cataract assessment and treatment in North York, ON.

Who’s at Risk of Developing Cataracts?

Cataracts are an age-related problem, meaning it mostly develops in people who are above 60 years. Since cataracts develop slowly, it is possible to have the formation begin as early as 40 years. However, you will start to get vision challenges as you get older. That is why you are advised to seek regular eye checkups at least once every year. It is easy for the doctor to notice cataracts at an early stage.

Although adults are the most affected, children can also develop the problem. Some children are born with eye cataracts while others develop them as a complication of an illness like diabetes.

Eye cataracts in children can affect one or both eyes, affecting their vision. At times the cataract may be small and does not need to be removed. But, if it continues to grow and impairs the child’s vision, then they will need cataract treatment.

What Can You Expect At Your Evaluation Appointment?

The doctor will conduct a series of eye tests to check for cataracts, such as:

  • Visual acuity test or eye chart exam. The doctor will ask you to read a couple of letters from a chart (placed at a distance) to find out if your vision is sharp as required.
  • Slit-lamp exam. Using a special microscope, the doctor will examine the different parts of the eye. Some of the parts examined include the cornea, the iris, and the lens.
  • A retinal exam involves the use of eye drops. The doctor will use eye drops to dilate or widen the pupil to properly examine the retina and check for cataracts.

How Are Cataract Treated?

Although we have several websites advocating for natural remedies, surgery is the only treatment for eye cataracts. But, in the early stages, the doctor can give you prescription glasses and a stronger lens to improve your vision for a while. Monitor the progression and ask the doctor about other ways of cataracts care.

If you notice the vision is getting worse, talk to the doctor about getting eye cataract surgery.
There are several types of cataract surgery that may be done, but all have one primary goal; to replace the cloudy lens with an artificial one.

The surgery usually takes 15 to 25 minutes and is done in an outpatient setting. Eye cataract surgery has a high success rate, with about 95 percent of the people reporting positive results.

Can Cataracts Be Prevented?

There are no specific ways of preventing cataracts. According to research about 80 percent of people have suffered or will get cataracts at some point. However, you can reduce the chances of you getting one by paying attention to your lifestyle.

Eat right and focus on eye-friendly foods, quit smoking, limit alcohol and protect your eyes when you are under direct sunlight. Finally, get regular eye exams, especially if you are at risk.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Yorkdale Eye Center for an evaluation and more information about eye cataracts.

416-781-8242 Book Appointment