Cataracts: Symptoms, causes, and treatment options

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Cataracts are the clouding of the clear lenses in the eyes. A healthy lens focuses light that passes through the eye, but an aging lens can become less translucent and thicker. 

Dr. Aaron Smalley from Mountain Point Medical Center explains the symptoms of cataracts as well as the causes and treatment options. 
 

Most cataracts develop from age-related conditions, which cause the tissues in the lenses to break down and eventually cloud over. Cataracts can cause blurred and clouded vision.

Symptoms of cataracts

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass and contact lens prescription
  • Double vision in one eye

Risk factors that can increase chances of developing cataracts

  • Ageing
  •  Diabetes
  • Previous eye injury
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Treatment options

In some cases, cataracts are mild enough that prescription glasses can improve vision. However, if eyeglasses aren’t enough, surgery is the only effective treatment option.

A good place to start is with your doctor. He or she can help you determine if surgery is right for you. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. For some people, an artificial lens cannot be used, so the cataract is removed and the vision is corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

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