If you've ever tried to look through a filtered lens or a dirty window, you know how hard it is to view a clear, undistorted image. Cataracts present a similar obstacle to your visual acuity by putting up a physical barrier between incoming light and the parts of the that process and interpret that light. Here at Warm Springs Optometric Group, our Fremont optometrists can detect cataracts early in their development, adjust your vision prescription to compensate, recommend healthy changes to discourage cataract growth, and even co-manage procedures to remove an advanced cataract.
Cataracts are an accumulation of the same proteins you've always had in the lens of your eye. Normally, these proteins are spaced so that incoming light can right right through them with no issues, giving your retina optimal information for interpreting images. But if that perfect spacing is spoiled, the proteins start to form a solid, milky-white area that cannot pass light through the lens efficiently. This is what we call a cataract. While some cataracts form in association with risk factors such as diabetes, intense UV exposure, smoking or steroid use, the most common variety are just a side effect of aging and ordinary exposure to daylight.
You may have mild cataracts for many years before your vision is noticeably affected. When the effects start to become apparent, you may experience such classic signs and symptoms as:
While cataracts are a leading cause of blindness around the globe, they are actually highly treatable, even if the cataract development itself cannot be reversed by current medical techniques. Early diagnosis is one key to helping you cope, which is why you should make sure you're getting regular eye exams here at Warm Springs Optometric Group. Our eye doctors use a combination of standard vision testing and slit lamp testing (a method of examining the front of the eye with an illuminated instrument) to determine whether you have a cataract in the making. We can then recommend the appropriate approach to your cataract treatment.
Mild cataracts can require nothing more than regular vision testing and monitoring, along with smart practices such as smoking cessation and UV-blocking eyewear to minimize further progress. If your eyesight starts to suffer, we can prescribe corrective lenses. If the cataract impairs vision beyond our ability to compensate, our eye doctors may recommend surgery to replace the cataract with an artificial lens. We can co-manage this process to ensure best results.
Are you or a family member suffering from cataracts? The optometry team at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont would love to help. Below are some frequently asked questions about cataracts.
Here are some frequently asked questions about cataracts. Please contact us if you have other questions about cataracts and our practice.
Cataracts are protein build-ups inside the lens of your eye. Over time, this protein buildup will create a barrier that prevents light from clearly passing through your eye, making it difficult for you to see.
Proteins are naturally created in the eye, but an excess amount can cause vision issues. There are several types of cataracts. These are age-related, congenital, secondary, and traumatic cataracts. Below is more information about each type of cataracts.
Age-related cataracts are a very common form of cataracts. Many people over the age of 60 will develop cataracts at some point.
Congenital cataracts are cataracts that are present in a person’s eyes at birth. This type of cataract could be developed in the womb, or caused by an injury or illness. Cataracts can also form as the child develops and grows.
Secondary cataracts are when cataracts occur due to a medical condition, such as diabetes. Secondary cataracts can also be caused by exposure to radiation, toxic substances, or ultraviolet light. Certain medicines like diuretics or corticosteroids can also cause secondary cataracts.
Traumatic cataracts are cataracts that develop when the eye or eyes are injured.
There are many symptoms of cataracts. Symptoms include issues driving at night, blurry, foggy, or cloudy vision, contact lenses or eyeglasses not working like they used to, double vision in the eye with a cataract, nearsightedness, issues with glare, and changes in color perception.
We offer several types of eye care for our patients with cataracts. If your cataracts are not yet causing you issues, we can monitor and test your vision regularly to monitor the progression of the condition. Corrective lenses and surgery are also available for patients who qualify.
Don't fear cataracts -- fight back against them, with the aid of Warm Springs Optometric Group. Call (510) 490-0287 to schedule an exam with our eye doctors!