25 Oct Cataracts FAQ
Globally, approximately 20 million people have gone blind as direct a result of cataracts. Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions Unionville Optometry gets asked about this disease.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a cloudy film over the normally clear lens of the eye. Their appearance disables the eyes ability to correctly focus light on the back of the eye, and onto the retina. In essence, the lens cortex becomes opaque and obscured.
Who Gets Cataracts?
Normally they are associated with persons over 55 but have been rarely found in younger people, including newborn babies. While they are most often caused by aging, it can also develop as a result of trauma, secondary to some medication, after exposure to radiation, following complications after eye surgery to mitigate other problems, and in some instances, cataracts may exist at birth.
What are Common Signs and Symptoms?
Cataracts are usually slow to form and can affect one eye at a time or both eyes simultaneously. A comprehensive eye examination is the only definitive way to know if they are forming.
Common signs and symptoms of cataracts can include:
- Difficulty with night vision
- Adverse reactions to bright lights
- Blurred vision
- Colours appearing faded
- Halos appearing around light sources
- Dark spots that appear to move with an eye
- Double vision in only one eye
- A feeling of film over the eyes
What Causes Cataracts?
Chemical changes within the eye eventually cloud the lens. This is typically an age-related development, and can sometimes result from a disease, or injury.
Cigarette smoking, excessive ultraviolet, or infrared radiation exposure from sunlight (or furnaces), and certain medications can also contribute to the development of cataracts.
Can Cataracts Be Prevented or Treated?
There’s no known method to prevent cataracts from forming. But if their development begins to affect daily activities a surgeon would need to be consulted. Surgery to have cataracts removed is the preferred course of treatment. If required, our Unionville Optometry office in Markham ON will arrange for you to meet with a surgeon for a consultation and to determine an appropriate cataract removal time.
What Happens After Surgery?
At the time of surgery, your natural lens is removed, and an intraocular lens implant will be inserted. There are a variety of types of implants now available, including single vision, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, accommodating lenses that will help you read at near, bifocals, and trifocals. The artificial implant will serve as a new lens and can sometimes help reduce dependence on glasses, but not always.
Eyeglasses or contact lenses may also be recommended after surgery to provide the best overall results.
Have More Questions?
If you have any concerns or questions about cataracts, or have more cataract questions you need answered, please call our Unionville Optometry office in Markham ON at 1-905-477-4488 or contact us online.
Our family of optometrists – Dr. David Innamorato, Dr. Krista Innamorato, or Dr. Mark Innamorato – would be more than happy to review your eye health and discuss how cataracts may affect your vision and can be treated.
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