Cataracts are a widespread, age-related eye condition that occurs when the lenses in your eyes become cloudy. At Project Eyecare Optometry, Vincent Cano, OD, and Connie Tsai, OD, and their eye care team provide expert diagnosis and management for cataracts. If you’re concerned about cataracts or due for an eye exam, call Project Eyecare Optometry or schedule a consultation online today.
The lenses behind your pupils are usually clear and focus light onto your retina, helping you to see clearly. When the proteins in those lenses start to break down, the lenses become cloudy and turn into cataracts.
Most of the time, cataracts are age-related. While approximately half of Americans have cataracts by the age of 75, many patients begin to develop cataracts after they turn 40, but don’t start to notice changes in their vision until they’re in their 60s. Factors that contribute to your risk of developing cataracts include:
Age-related cataracts form gradually, while injury-related cataracts emerge rapidly and often at a younger age.
In their early stages, cataracts don’t cause any symptoms. The condition isn’t painful, but as your lenses become more clouded, you might notice:
In most cases, your optometrist diagnoses cataracts during a routine eye exam years before you experience any symptoms.
One of the tests your optometrist uses during an exam is a slit-lamp exam. A slit lamp is a lighted magnifying device that allows your optometrist to examine the external and internal structures of your eye, including the lenses, in detail. Your optometrist might also dilate your pupils to get a good look at the inside of your eye, which allows them to identify abnormalities in your lenses.
In their early stages, your optometrist treats cataracts with corrective lenses to make up for the distortion in your intraocular lenses. You might also find that you need more light to read or see clearly. You should also give up smoking, wear UV-blocking sunglasses, and manage any related health conditions like diabetes.
If your cataracts are visually significant that corrective lenses do not correct your vision, surgery may be indicated to have intraocular lens removal to replace your cataracts with artificial lenses. The optometrists at Project Eyecare Optometry can provide referrals for the best ophthalmologists in the Mission Viejo area to perform your surgery.
Call Project Eyecare Optometry or make an appointment online today for expert cataracts management.