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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. Eventually, cataracts typically worsen. When this happens, your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist who specializes in eye diseases and eye surgery.
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:
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.
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of treatment services, including: