Cataracts affect a large percentage of the American population. It is a serious eye condition that can cause blindness if left untreated. That’s why regular eye examinations are important in identifying and correcting vision problems early. But what are some of the facts that you need to know about cataracts? This article examines some of the most important ones.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudy area on the lens of the eye. Normally the lens is clear, as it allows light to pass through onto the retina, which is at the back of the eye. However, when light is unable to pass through the lens easily, normal vision is affected.
There may be no symptoms in the initial stages, but as time passes patients may experience the following:
• Blurry, cloudy, or foggy vision
• Double vision
• Sensitivity to light, especially night light
• Changes in vision
Cataracts are usually associated with aging, so it is common in older people, especially those over the age of 55.Cataracts are also caused by eye injuries, as well as diseases such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. The clouding over of the eye is the result of a build-up of protein, but researchers are not sure what causes this.
There are instances in which stronger prescription eyeglasses may help eyesight, but when the disease progresses, surgery is often required. Cataract surgery involves the removal of the cloudy lens, which is replaced by an artificial intraocular (IOL) lens.
Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths of New View Eye Center in Reston, VA is an experienced ophthalmologist with many years’ experience in laser vision correction. You can contact her at (703) 834-9777to find out what additional information you may need to know about cataracts. You can also visit the website at http://www.newviewlasereye.com/.