Many Americans get cataracts as they get older. Unfortunately, cataracts can affect your vision, making it harder to see as cataracts get worse. Luckily, there is a surgical treatment to restore your vision. If you would like to know more about cataracts and surgery, keep reading.
What Are Cataracts?
Your eyeball consists of many parts, including the cornea, pupil, lens, retina, and optic nerve. When light enters the cornea, it refracts the light, so your eye better focus on what it's seeing. The light goes through the pupil and lens. The lens also refracts light before sending the image to the retina. The optic nerve then takes the image to your brain to process.
As you age, the proteins and fibers in the lens start to break down, which causes cataracts or cloudy discoloration inside the eye, visible through the pupil. This blocks a lot of the light from reaching the retina and blurs your vision. Other symptoms include:
- Seeing double
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing in dim light
At first, glasses may help, but if cataracts get worse, glasses may no longer help.
What Increases the Risk of Cataracts?
There are many factors that can increase your risk of cataracts. First, injury to the eye can also cause damage to the proteins and fibers in the lens. Similarly, previous eye surgery may also increase your risk. Many risks are associated with your overall health, including:
- High blood pressure
In addition, some lifestyle choices also contribute to your risk of cataracts. This includes frequent sunlight exposure, smoking, and heavy alcohol use.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is the only way to treat cataracts fully. Luckily, the procedure is incredibly common and routine. During surgery, a flap is made in the cornea to access the lens. The surgeon removes the lens and replaces it with an artificial one. If an artificial lens isn't possible, you can wear glasses to correct your vision after the lens is removed.
There is a short recovery period after surgery, and you need to follow your doctor's orders to prevent any eye irritation or infections. Usually, only one eye is done at a time.
Cataracts are common, but you don't have to live with them. Cataract surgery is an effective way to improve your vision after cataracts. If you would like to know more about cataract surgery or if you want to schedule a consultation, contact an eye doctor today.