If you’re suffering from cataracts, you’re not alone. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and affect millions of people each year. In fact, by age 65, over 90% of people in the U.S. will develop cataracts. Although in the early stages you may not notice the symptoms, blurry vision usually becomes more severe over time and may affect your ability to perform everyday tasks.
So how do cataracts form? Many people believe that their cloudy vision is due to a growth on their eyes, but cataracts are actually caused by changes in the natural lens. Over time, the proteins that form the lens clump together and build up, making it more difficult to see.
Cataracts may appear in one or both eyes. Since they develop gradually, most people don’t realize they have cataracts until they can no longer make out distinct colors or see clearly at night. Cataracts are more common in older adults, but they can also occur in younger patients who have suffered a traumatic eye injury or have a medical condition like diabetes.
Types of Cataracts
You can develop one of three different types of cataracts:
- Nuclear cataracts that grow in the center of the lens and turn the lens brown
- Cortical cataracts that start in the outer edge of the lens and slowly move toward the center
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts, which develop on the back of the lens
Posterior subcapsular cataracts usually advance faster than nuclear and cortical cataracts, and cause two of the most common cataract symptoms: glare from bright lights and halos around objects at night. However, all types of cataracts can cause blurry vision and make navigating your daily life more challenging.
Treatment for Cataracts
Some statistics to consider:
- It’s estimated that cataracts currently affect more than 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40.
- By age 65, over 90% of people in the U.S. will develop cataracts.
- By age 80, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have already undergone cataract surgery.
It is a popular misconception that cataracts are a growth on top of the eye, however, they are actually part of the eye’s natural lens. Because of this, they cannot be “cured”.
The only way to remove a cataract and return to a life of seeing clearly, is to see a specialist and have cataract surgery. Although this could feel stressful to some, rest assured that the advances in the laser technology have made cataract surgery safer and more precise than it was in the past.
The team of doctors at ICON Eyecare have decades of combined experience and are dedicated to making sure your questions are answered and that you are comfortable with your treatment plan.”
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