June marks Cataract Awareness Month, a yearly campaign started by the nonprofit organization Prevent Blindness. Every June, ophthalmic organizations and practices encourage individuals to learn the signs and symptoms associated with cataracts. By detecting and treating cataracts early, you can reduce your risk of long term complications and preserve your vision.
Here at South East Eye, we encourage all of our patients to receive regular checkups, particularly if they’re at risk for developing cataracts.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is a medical condition that is characterized by a clouding of the lens within the eye. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and the most common form of vision loss in individuals older than 40.
Cataracts are typically organized into three subtypes:
- Subcapsular cataracts manifest in the back of the lens. People with diabetes are at a particularly high risk of developing this kind of cataract, as well as individuals who are taking high doses of steroid medications.
- Nuclear cataracts form in the center – or the nucleus – of the lens. These cataracts are typically associated with aging.
- Cortical cataracts occur in the cortex, a region that surrounds the center of the lens. These cataracts are characterized by opaque, white spokes that extend towards the middle of the eye.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts are associated with numerous symptoms including:
- Blurry vision
- Poor vision at night
- Increased glare, i.e., halos around bright lights
- Double vision
- Faded colors
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
Although many people believe that diminished vision is just a normal part of aging, these symptoms are not normal. If you notice any changes in your vision, you should contact your eye doctor immediately to receive a comprehensive examination.
How are cataracts treated?
Currently, the only way to remove cataracts is through surgery. During cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove the cloudy lens from your eye and replace it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, or IOL.
Thankfully, cataract surgery is a routine, outpatient procedure that millions of people receive each year. In fact, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed eye procedure in the country.
South East Eye provides comprehensive eye and vision examinations as well as cataract surgery. The small-incision cataract surgery we offer is quick (taking less than twenty minutes) and safe, with a short recovery time and almost immediate results. For more information about the services offered at South East Eye, contact us today.