Cataracts are more common in adults over the age of 60 and are characterized by blurry or cloudy vision. The condition can be treated by your eye doctor. Regular eye check ups can help alert you and your doctor to potential eye problems, like cataracts.
How cataracts develop
Cataracts occur when there is protein buildup on the lens of the eye. overtime, this buildup creates cloudy vision because light can no longer pass directly though the lens. There are four different cataract types: age related, congenital, secondary, and traumatic. Age related cataracts develop as our bodies age and change. Congenital cataracts can occur in infants and may be the result of infection, poor development in the womb, or injury. Sometimes this type of cataract can also develop later in childhood.
Secondary cataracts occur due to other health problems, like diabetes. Exposure to toxic chemicals, radiation, ultraviolet light, or medications like corticosteroids, can also result in cataracts. The traumatic type of cataracts form when there is severe injury to the eye. Heavy smoking and air pollution can also lend to cataract development.
Cataracts form over time. They may go unnoticed until they begin to block light. At this point you may begin to have filmy, foggy, or cloudy vision. Other symptoms include nearsightedness (in older adults), alterations in they way the eye sees color, issues with night driving, problems with glare during the day, double vision, problems with contacts or eyeglasses failing to work well.
How cataracts are diagnosed and treated
Your eye doctor will test your eyes to determine how well you can see objects and light. A pupil dilation test will be done so the doctor can assess other parts of your eye. If glasses or contacts cannot fix your eyesight, you may require surgery depending on the severity of your cataracts. Cataract surgery has an extremely successful record and is done as an outpatient procedure.