Foggy Vision: Treatment Options for Cataracts
A Cause of Vision Loss
Cataracts are considered the leading cause of vision loss in Canada. More than 2.5 million Canadians are suffering from vision impairment. This condition is particularly common in seniors due to ocular aging.
Almost everyone has some degree of cataract development by the age of 60. The lens of the eye hardens as it loses its flexibility, which can lead to clouding. This clouding prevents light from reaching the retina, and is sometimes described as “looking through a foggy window.”
There are safe procedures to fix the effects of a cataract, allowing the majority of patients to restore their vision to complete pre-cataract clarity.
Cataracts are unpredictable. They may develop slowly over years or very quickly over the course of months. Early signs of cataracts include:
- Reduced vision acuity
- Haloes around lights
- Glare in vision, such as headlights
- Reduced night vision
- Loss of contrast sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Color bleed (colors merging into one another)
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an eye exam immediately so that we can diagnose the cataract and provide you with treatment options.
Common Risk Factors Associated With Cataracts
Cataracts can develop in anyone with any lifestyle, but there are some risk factors that have been clinically associated with a higher possibility of developing cataracts.
- Advanced age.
Seniors are at nearly twice the risk of developing cataracts
- Underlying genetics and health conditions.
If early cataracts are common in your family, let your Optometrist know. Health conditions such as diabetes may also contribute to the development of cataracts.
- Eye Injury.
If you have had an injury to your eye at any point in your life, letting your Optometrist know can help detect if there are risks of cataracts forming.
How are cataracts treated?
Surgery is the only way to treat cataracts. The procedure is commonly referred to as Cataract Surgery and is one of the safest and most effective ways to rid your vision of cataracts.
Cataract Surgery is the most common surgery performed of all type of eye surgeries and has very low risk. It is usually done with local anesthetic with a specialist and is day surgery.
The procedure rarely lasts longer than 30 minutes, and you may be back on your feet and returning to normal activities within 2-3 hours.
What should I do after Cataract Surgery?
After your surgery, you will have a one day and one to two week follow up with the specialist. Thereafter, our Eyes On Georgina optometrists will monitor your condition with regular follow up exams. The standard schedule is a one month follow up to determine the effectiveness of the surgery and to counter complications if any.
At the one month follow up, your eye health should be stable enough to measure your new prescription, and at that point, we will recommend replacing your current glasses or contacts with new ones. Almost everyone will still need some form of vision correction following Cataract Surgery.
Diabetes is associated with several eye health issues including cataracts and glaucoma, but the most well known diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy.