Cataracts FAQ

Cataracts are a prevalent eye condition affecting many people worldwide and the leading cause of blindness globally. They develop as you age and are so common that over 50 percent of Americans aged 70 or older either have cataracts or have undergone treatment to remove them. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about cataracts that can help you learn more about the eye condition.

What Are Cataracts?


Cataracts are thick, cloudy patches that form in the usually transparent eye lens. That results in blurred vision or vision loss as the cataracts progress. Having cataracts feels like looking through a foggy window. It is difficult to make out images because they appear fuzzy and distorted.

Types of Cataracts


According to the National Eye Institute, there are five main types of cataracts, namely:

Age-related cataracts: These are cataracts linked to aging and are the most common type.

Traumatic cataracts: Severe trauma to the eyes can injure your eye lens and cause cataracts.

Pediatric or congenital cataracts: Some babies may be born with cataracts or get them in childhood.

Secondary cataracts: Some diseases, such as diabetes, can cause cataracts. Secondary cataracts can also develop because of using steroids.

Radiation cataracts: The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and radiation therapies for cancer can bring about cataracts.

What is the Main Cause of Cataracts?


Reasons cataracts develop include:

  • Age. Aging brings eye changes that begin at 40. The proteins in the eye lens start to disintegrate and cloud the lens.

  • Family history of cataracts.

  • Medical problems, like diabetes.

  • Unhealthy habits, such as smoking.

  • Having eye surgery, eye injuries, or radiation therapies on your torso.

  • Spending too much time in the sun without eye protection.

  • Using corticosteroids or other steroid medications.


What Are the First Signs of Having Cataracts?


The first signs of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision

  • Glare and light sensitivity

  • Difficulty seeing at night

  • Seeing rings around lights

  • Double vision

  • Colors seem pale or faded

If you experience any of these signs, a comprehensive eye checkup will determine whether you have cataracts.

What Age Do Cataracts Usually Start?


While cataracts are common in older people, babies can also develop cataracts if the illness runs in the family. A newborn can also get cataracts if the mother has chicken pox, German measles, or another infectious illness during pregnancy.

How Can Cataracts Be Treated?


Eye doctors can treat the early signs of cataracts with specialty eyewear, like anti-glare eyeglasses, stronger prescription eyewear, and eyeglasses with magnifying lenses.

When cataracts start to impair your vision, your ophthalmologist will recommend cataract surgery. Surgery is especially crucial if cataracts interfere with your routine activities, such as reading, driving, or doing chores. You can talk about your eligibility for surgery with your ophthalmologist.

There is no cure for cataracts. But treatment can help slow its progression. Other helpful tactics include managing other medical problems, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, wearing protective sunglasses, and eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Your eye doctor can monitor your progress during your eye exams and recommend ways to help improve your vision.

For more on cataracts, visit Lakhani Vision Care at our office in Marietta, Georgia. Call 770-509-9932 to schedule an appointment today.

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