One of the questions we get the most at Elmquist Eye Group is whether cataracts are reversible. Unfortunately, the answer is no, and surgery is the only remedy. But if you are near Bonita Springs, FL, you are close to the best cataract surgeons.
How to know if you have a cataract
If your vision has become blurred and cloudy, and colors seem faded, you may have a cataract, which typically impact people over age 60. Clumps of protein form on the lens and cause light to scatter rather than focus on the lens, and this light scatter is what causes the difficulty with glare, reading in low light or night driving that many of our patients report as symptoms.
There are several types of cataracts. The most common are those that form in the central part of the eye; these are called nuclear sclerotic cataracts. And, with the growing diabetes epidemic, we are seeing many more patients with another type of cataract called posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC) that form on the back surface of the lens. These cataracts in particular cause people to see halos around oncoming headlights during night driving.
Cataracts do range in severity, and early on, people rarely notice symptoms. As the protein clumps worsen, people begin experiencing the vision issues described above. Because people rarely notice symptoms, an annual eye exam is the only way that our Elmquist eye care specialists can detect and diagnose cataracts. These specialized tests are added to our comprehensive eye exam for our patients over age 60. In the exam, we dilate your eyes which allows us to take a more thorough look at the lens and examine it for the formation of cataracts. We also use a test called the slit lamp test to observe the lens.
How to treat cataracts
The only way to repair a cataract is with a surgical procedure, and we advise patients to consider surgery when vision becomes significantly impacted by the cataract. Many patients first experience difficulties with night vision, and also may find that reading has become more difficult.
In the early stages of cataracts, we will make more frequent adjustments to your eyeglasses or contact lenses prescriptions to address the vision changes caused by the cataract. After a time, however, we will recommend surgery and we will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for the surgery. Then, our expert surgeons will discuss your expectations as well as each aspect of the surgery from preparation, to what to expect during the surgery, to post-surgical recovery. Together, we will decide if surgery is right for you at this time.
An Elmquist Evaluation
Are cataracts reversible? No, but you are in Bonita Springs, FL so you have access to the best comprehensive eye exam and the best cataract surgeons in south Florida at Elmquist Eye Group. We can see you at either one of our convenient locations in Fort Myers or Cape Coral, so give us a call today.