Do Cataracts Go Away?
One of the most frequent questions we get at Elmquist Eye Group is, “Do cataracts go away?” Unfortunately the answer is no, but the situation may not be as bleak as you think. Cataracts are a natural part of aging. Cataracts can begin forming in your 40s, and by age 75, about half of all Americans will have cataracts.
Cataracts are very common, affecting approximately 25 million Americans over age 40. Aging causes the eye’s natural proteins to break down and clump on the lens. As such, the lens begins to blur, become rigid and discolor.
Cataracts definitely worsen over time, and there are definite warning signs of cataract progression. Early on, you may not notice any symptoms because the cataract may not yet be causing any significant vision issues. You may first notice symptoms when driving at night. Halos may form around oncoming headlights or streetlights. As cataracts worsen, many of our patients describe their vision as if they are looking through a waterfall.
There are some early signs you can look for. Cloudy or blurred vision is perhaps the most common. You may experience noticeable spots in your vision. Another very common sign is difficulty with night vision. Cataracts often cause the lens to darken and, while daylight is usually sufficient to compensate for this darkening, night vision is not. As such, many patients notice worsening vision, particularly at night. You may also notice an increasing sensitivity to bright lights. The cataract causes light to pass through the lens in a different way, creating the characteristic night halos or glare during the day.
Because it may take years for you to notice cataract symptoms, regular eye exams are very important. Our experts at Elmquist Eye Group use a comprehensive procedure to detect the presence of cataracts before you even notice any vision problems.
While cataracts do not go away, it is definitely possible to slow the progression. Unfortunately, cataracts cannot be reversed, but there are several measures you can take that may help slow the progression of the protein breakdown that is characteristic of cataracts. Always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun exposure. Intake the proper nutrition for healthy eyes, including antioxidants like vitamins C and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Never let your cataracts go untreated. Did you know that untreated cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the world today? Without any intervention, your cataracts will continue to grow. Since they can affect one or both eyes, you must take cataracts seriously to preserve your precious eyesight.
At first, we might be able to frequently change your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription to help with your vision, but surgery will inevitably be needed for later-stage cataracts. Indeed, surgery is the only effective treatment for a cataract.
Don’t delay; cataracts do not go away. If you have been experiencing symptoms of cataracts, give Elmquist Eye Group a call. Our experienced team will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and plan your appropriate course of treatment. Because cataracts develop slowly, you’ll have plenty of time to consider all your options. Come see us! We want you to be our next new patient.