A cataract is the clouding on the clear lens of your eye. When you have cataracts, it is like looking through a fogged-up window. This can make it difficult to drive, especially at night. It is difficult to read. Additionally, depending on the severity, it can even be difficult to see objects close up. Cataracts typically develop slowly and do not disturb your eyesight until it progresses.
When cataracts first develop, wearing stronger eyeglasses will help. Sometimes even working in a stronger light will help you deal with the cloudiness of cataracts. But, if your vision begins to interfere with your daily activities due to the cataracts, you may need cataract surgery.
Fortunately, the surgery is a safe, fairly quick and typically successful. So what makes someone more prone to cataracts? Are you at risk of having cataracts in the future? The following information will highlight who may be at the greatest risk of getting cataracts.
How Do Cataracts Form?
Cataracts form on the lens of your eye which is located behind the colored part of your eye (the iris). The lens is responsible for focusing the light that passes into the eye. It, then produces sharp, clear images on the retina. The retina is the light sensitive membrane in your eye that works like film in a camera.
As people age, the lens in the eye becomes less transparent, less flexible and thicker. As cataracts continue to develop, the clouding in your eye becomes denser and covers a larger area of the lens. Cataracts cause the light to scatter and become blocked as it passes through the lens, which prevents images from being sharply defined by the retina, resulting in blurry vision.
Who is At Risk For Cataracts?
The elderly are at the greatest risk of getting cataracts because the of the age related changes in the eye. However, there are other people who may also be at risk of getting cataracts, including:
People with diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may have a higher risk of developing cataracts due to the persistent increase in blood sugar levels.
Those who have a family history of cataracts may have a greater risk of developing cataracts and people with certain genetic eye disorders may also have a greater risk for cataracts.
People that smoke are at risk of developing cataracts because smoking may cause damage to the lens of your eye as a result of the formation of free radicals. High levels of free radicals can cause significant damage to cells, including the cells in the lens of your eye.
Infection while pregnant
When pregnant women get certain infections during their pregnancy, such as chickenpox or rubella, their baby may develop cataracts before birth.
People with long term use of and/or high doses of steroid medications for conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, may have an increased risk of cataracts.
People who have had an eye injury, inflammation or eye trauma are at a greater risk of developing cataracts. A cataract may not form immediately after an eye trauma, but either a blunt trauma or a penetrating trauma to the eye can cause the formation of cataracts even several years after the trauma.
Eye Exams Manhattan NY
If you notice any changes in your vision, it is important that you make an appointment for an eye exam as soon as possible. You should also see your doctor right away if you develop sudden changes in your vision, such as flashes of light or double vision, sudden headaches or sudden eye pain. If your doctor recommends cataract surgery, it is up to you and your doctor to decide when the surgery may be right for you. Although cataracts do not harm your eyes, they can worsen, especially in people with diabetes. Delaying cataract surgery will not affect how well your vision recovers after the surgery and if you choose not to have cataract surgery, your eye doctor will typically recommend periodic follow-up exams to make sure the cataract isn’t progressing.
Be sure to schedule eye exams regularly with a reputable eye doctor. At Optometric Eye Services, our staff is friendly, positive and professional. Our eye doctors have the skills and experience necessary to find the right treatment for your cataracts or any other eye conditions that you might have. We are committed to providing each patient with quality vision solutions.
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