The formation of cataracts is common as you grow older. They are the leading cause of vision problems in adults over 55. Unfortunately, there are no medications or diet that can slow the progression.
When you have a cataract covering your eye, your world may appear blurry, dim and less colorful. You may also experience halos and glare. It’s like looking through a fog.
As you age, the lenses in your eyes become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Age-related and other medical conditions cause tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, clouding small areas within the lens.
Factors that increase your risk of cataracts include:
Annual eye exams are important to maintain good eye health. When a cataract is just beginning to form, your optometrist may prescribe glasses or contacts to minimize your symptoms and preserve your vision.
Different types of cataracts may develop including:
While an optometrist may be the first to notice a cataract developing, he or she will refer patients to an ophthalmologist – a specialist in eye diseases and eye surgery – for diagnosis and treatment.
During the initial diagnosis, you doctor will:
The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Talk to your doctor about when to proceed with surgery. Normally, if your independence or quality of life is limited, it may be time to consider surgery.
Once you have cataract surgery, you’ll be able to see with greater comfort and clarity. With better vision, you’ll reduce your risk of falling, drive with greater safety, and decrease the stress and anxiety that come with impaired vision.
Cataract surgery is relatively pain-free and normally takes less than 30 minutes. Most cataract patients enjoy improved vision shortly after surgery and resume normal activities by the following day.
It’s natural to feel concerned about having surgery on your eyes. But cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures. With Mercy by your side, you’ll find the expert care and support you need.
Your doctor will explain the various surgical options and the choices you have for replacement lenses. In the past, nearly everyone received the same basic replacement lens, but today additional choices allow you to customize your vision based on your needs and lifestyle. You’ll be able to choose from monofocal lenses, multifocal lenses or astigmatism-correcting lenses.
Cataract surgery is generally covered by Medicare or insurance, but you may have out-of-pocket costs depending upon the replacement lens you choose.
If you have experienced changes in your vision, it may be time for an eye exam. Mercy has an experienced team of eye care specialists who will help you see life with the best possible vision, and keep you enjoying all the activities you love.