Are Cataracts Treatable?
If you have cataracts, you might be asking, “Are cataracts treatable?” Yes! Cataracts are absolutely treatable, but only with a surgical procedure to remove the cloudy protein-covered natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Surgery is indeed the only remedy for cataracts. If you don’t have symptoms, surgery is not yet necessary. Our surgeons at Elmquist Eye Group usually only recommend cataract surgery when the cataract affects your vision, making daily tasks of living like reading, driving or watching television difficult.
Initially, new prescription eyeglasses can help correct the blurry vision common with cataracts. Likewise, wearing sunglasses helps with light sensitivity. Over time, however, surgery is the only permanent fix. Surgeons must remove the natural lens and replace it with a new artificial lens.
Cataract surgery is very common, with surgeons performing more than four million surgeries every year in the United States. Left untreated, cataracts lead to vision loss. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 55.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts are a normal part of aging; the eye’s natural proteins begin to break down and clump together, clouding the lens. Age-related cataracts can be mild, but the severe form can create significant obstructions in your vision. Many patients describe seeing with cataracts as if they are looking through a waterfall.
There are other causes of cataracts besides natural aging. Genetics play a role, as does exposure to high radiation environments like infrared used in welding and similar trades, or excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
People with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are more prone to cataract formation earlier in life. Even certain medications like steroids and statins can contribute to cataract development.
What are the symptoms?
Although people usually begin developing cataracts in middle age, they often do not notice symptoms for years or even decades. Some very common symptoms are associated with cataracts:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Light sensitivity
- Poor night vision or seeing halos around lights, particularly at night
- Faded color vision
- Double vision
The Elmquist Difference
As the American population ages, more than 25 million Americans currently have cataracts. That number will rise as the aging population grows. Our patients typically notice symptoms after age 60, and by age 65, the majority have developed significant cataracts. By age 75, most people are experiencing significant interference with their vision.
Don’t leave your cataracts untreated and let them rob you of your precious sight. Millions of people have the surgery each year, and our surgeons at Elmquist Eye Group perform many surgeries in the Fort Myers area. Are cataracts treatable? You bet! Give us a call. We will answer all your questions at your initial appointment. We are ready to meet your eye health needs.