Cataracts

Cataracts - which cloud over the normally clear lens of the eye - are an almost universal issue that can be treated by eye care specialists. Contact us today to learn about your management and treatment options for this condition!
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The term "cataract" refers to a clouding of the lens in the eye, which interferes with our ability to see clearly. Cataracts are often related to aging - and in fact, by the age of 80, more than half of all Americans have had a cataract and/or cataract surgery. Most cataracts develop slowly, and therefore don't disturb your eyesight early on. But over time, cataracts can eventually interfere with your vision. 

To help patients manage and treat cataracts, Bay Family Eye Care offers a variety of prevention, monitoring, and treatment services, all designed to help you see as clearly as possible at every stage of cataract development. If you’re ready to address your own cataracts, schedule an appointment online or call (410) 796-4555 today to set up your visit!

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FAQs on Cataracts:

What is a Cataract?

Cataracts are a medical condition in which the lens of the eye (or both eyes) becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. To understand how cataracts develop, it's important to understand the structure of the eye. Inside the eye, our lens sits between our iris and pupil. The lens helps to focus light onto our retina (which plays a central role in creating a picture of the world around us). The lens is made of mostly water and protein. As we age, however, these proteins can clump together. This clumping "clouds" over the eye, which interferes with our ability to see clearly.

In a healthy eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina; once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. But the lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

 

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts primarily present with blurry vision. Cataracts can also make it harder or impossible to see in low light; can make colors appear faded; can create a halo effect around light sources; can cause double vision; or, in extreme cases, can result in vision loss.

 

What Can Be Done To Prevent and Treat Cataracts?

Cataracts, for the most part, develop as a natural side effect of aging. However, injuries to the eye can potentially encourage the development of cataracts by affecting the tissue of the lens. Some surgeries (such as those for glaucoma), genetic disorders, and even medical conditions (such as diabetes) can also increase your risk of developing cataracts.

While there is no surefire way to prevent cataracts, doctors agree certain strategies and habits can help you reduce your risk overall of developing them. These include:

  • Getting regular eye exams (where your eye care professional to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other vision disorders)
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Quit smoking (or never start)
  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight and UV exposure
  • Avoid using corticosteroid medications for long periods of time

 

How are Cataracts Diagnosed?

Cataracts can be found during a standard eye exam, which includes: 

  • a visual acuity test (i.e. an eye chart test)
  • a dilated eye exam
  • a tonomety test (where an instrument is used to measure pressure inside the eye). 

While your eye care professional also may do other tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye, these three basic tests are often all that’s needed to find cataracts, no matter their stage in development.

 

How are Cataracts Treated?

Different options are available to address cataracts - or at least their symptoms - based on where they are in development.

The symptoms of early cataracts, for example, may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. Once these measures do not help, however, surgery is the only effective treatment for cataracts.

Surgery is not utilized until patients have vision loss severe enough to interfere with everyday activities (such as driving, reading, or watching TV). During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in America, and is performed by specialists. It will require pre- and post-op care from your normal eye doctor.

At Bay Family Eye Care, our specialty eye doctors have years of experience in managing and treating cataracts. We’re here to help our patients determine what is right for them, and will gladly take the time to discuss your care options with you. Our team is also able to guide you through the surgical care process, should it be the type of care you need. Whatever your health needs are, by seeking treatment at Bay Family Eye Care, you’ll always know what to expect during the care process!

Ready to schedule an appointment? Our Bay Family Eye Care team is ready to meet you. Our cataract management and co-management services will ensure that your vision is carefully monitored, and that your care is properly coordinated to ensure your future is clear. You can request an appointment online or call (410) 796-4555 today to set up your visit!

 

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