Eye Conditions: Cataracts
As our bodies grow and change over time, we start finding and feeling those creaks, cracks, and gray hairs. On top of all the things we can feel changing, we need to be aware of the changes that could be happening inside of our eyes.
Hello everyone! It looks like many things are starting to head back to normal. We are very excited about that! We will still be following all safety protocols to help keep our staff and patients safe and healthy. We have enjoyed talking about our youngest patients over the last few blogs, but we are going to shift our focus to our adult patients. In our office, we welcome patients of all ages. We are dedicated to helping them on their eye care journey. Over the next three blogs, we are going to talk about common eye conditions found in adults, and how you can begin preventing them now.
The eyes are such delicate organs, and how they change and evolve is as unique as you are. As our bodies change, we start to focus on keeping it in as good health as possible. There are many changes that can happen in our bodies that we can’t see or feel until these issues have progressed. Many conditions can be prevented and cared for if detected and caught early on. To stay on top of your optic health, don’t ignore any symptoms and report them to your doctor right away. Today, we are going to begin our blog series with cataracts.
A cataract is caused by injury to the eye or aging. They change the actual makeup of your eye’s lens. The lens lives right behind the colored part of your eye (or, the iris!) and it focuses the light that passes through your eye and creates the sharp images that you see. Over time, your lenses are no longer as flexible as they used to be. The lenses become more transparent, and they begin to grow thicker. Age, certain medical conditions, and injury can cause the tissue inside of your eye’s lens to break down. This broken-down tissue clumps together and causes a clouding effect in the lens. These clumps will continue to grow over time, blocking the light that comes into your eyes, making your vision very blurry. Thankfully, cataracts are known to grow very slowly. Cataracts can lead to blindness if they are not taken care of. Glasses can help in the beginning stages of cataracts, along with the use of brighter lights in your daily activity. Surgery is a very safe option to help correct the issue.
If your vision ever changes drastically and without any warning, contact us right away. If the symptoms are linked to cataracts or not, you still need to get the situation checked out. You could be helping prevent a multitude of other issues. Some symptoms you could experience in the beginning stages of cataracts are:
- Double vision in one of your eyes
- The fading of colors in your vision, or yellowing to them
- The need to change your glasses or contact prescription often
- You begin to see halos around lights
- You need brighter light to read and do everyday tasks
- Your eyes have a new sensitivity to light
- You begin having excessive difficulty seeing at night
- Your vision is constantly blurred or clouded
There are a handful of things you can begin doing now to help prevent cataracts. We recommend that everyone follow these preventative steps to keep you and your eyes as healthy as possible.
- PREVENTATIVE STEPS
- Visit us regularly. Even if you’ve always had healthy eyes and you’ve never needed glasses or contacts, continue to get regular checkups.
- If your health allows it, try and avoid taking oral steroids for long periods. Discuss this with your physician and try and find other options.
- Maintain your blood sugar as best you can. Take the healthy steps to avoid developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes, do you best to keep it under control. It is more likely for you to develop cataracts if you have diabetes.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Limit your smoking habit, or never start in the first place.
- Protect your eyes from the sun, and always wear sunglasses.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly!
These tips are geared towards keeping your eyes healthy and to prevent cataracts. They are also wonderful tips to implement into your daily life, period! Helping with the prevention of cataracts can help your health from head to toe. If you’re concerned that you might be developing cataracts, contact us right away. As always, we are here to keep your eyes healthy and happy. Until next time, stay safe and be well!