Annual Aging Well Section

This common eye condition causes gradual vision loss in aging adults.

What are Cataracts?

The human eye has a natural lens that helps focus light. A healthy lens is clear, but when the proteins in the lens begin to break down, they can cause blurry and hazy vision. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract.

Causes and Symptoms

Aging causes most cataracts. At age 40, the proteins in the lens naturally begin to break down and lead to cataracts. Cataracts are a common condition, affecting half of all Americans by age 75. Certain factors can increase the risk of age-related cataracts, such as family history, smoking, diabetes, and previous eye surgeries.

Symptoms of cataracts gradually appear and worsen over time. These include blurry vision, seeing double, sensitivity to light, trouble seeing at night, and colors that appear faded. An ophthalmologist can diagnose cataracts, typically with a dilated eye exam.

elderly man getting his eyes checked for cataracts

Treatment and Outlook

Cataract symptoms can be managed with methods such as brighter lights and a stronger prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, when vision loss begins to interfere with daily activities such as driving or reading, surgery may be the best option.

Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens called an intraocular lens, or IOL. There are multiple types of IOLs with different focus abilities – your ophthalmologist can discuss which option is best for your vision needs.

While cataracts are a common part of aging, they don’t have to interfere with daily life. Speak with your ophthalmologist if you are experiencing cataract symptoms to determine the best path forward to clearer vision.

An Expert Weighs In

“At Precision Eye Consultants, we know you have a choice, and we know that the best care comes when patients exercise that choice. We want our patients to know that if they need anything, from a routine eye exam to discussing questions regarding cataracts, dry eye, and glaucoma, to name a few, we work in tandem with others in our community who we believe will continue to put patients first and deliver the best care. We truly believe we are the best because we surround ourselves with only the best!”

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