By the age of 75, around 50% of American adults have cataracts. However, most cataracts start forming far earlier in life, so it’s important to have regular eye exams. At Optic Gallery Horizon Ridge in Henderson, Nevada, Anne Valdez, OD, and the team perform routine eye exams to diagnose cataracts early and allow you to slow their progression and protect your eyesight. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more about treatment options for cataracts.
A cataract is a clouded area in your eye lens, the normally clear disc behind your iris (the colored part of your eye). Cataracts occur when the natural proteins and fibers within your eye lens start breaking down.
This blocks the light and prevents the retina (in the back of your eye) from receiving a clearly defined image, making it harder to see clearly.
Most cataracts happen because of aging. The eye lenses naturally start to change in structure around age 40-50, which may lead to cataracts. However, most people don’t experience symptoms until age 60 or older.
Less commonly, cataracts can develop more suddenly because of trauma to the eye. In rare cases, babies are born with cataracts (congenital cataracts).
If you have diabetes (prolonged high blood sugar levels), you’re also five times as likely to develop cataracts than people without diabetes. This risk is even higher in diabetics under age 40.
In the beginning, cataracts may not affect vision too much. But over time, cataracts can grow larger until they affect most of your eye lens. This can leave you with issues such as:
You can experience cataracts in one or both eyes, but they don’t spread from one eye to the other.
Not everyone with cataracts needs cataract surgery. After your diagnosis, Optic Gallery Horizon Ridge can help you delay cataract progression by keeping your prescription current, advising you to wear sunglasses when outside, or other conservative measures.
If you experience significant vision impairment, the practice refers you to a local ophthalmologist (a doctor who specializes in eye surgery) for cataract removal.
During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist removes your cloudy eye lens and places an intraocular lens (IOL) in the pocket it leaves behind. The IOL restores your vision based on your eyeglasses or contacts prescription.
You’ll return to Optic Gallery Horizon Ridge for all your follow-up care.
To schedule your eye exam or cataract surgery consultation, call Optic Gallery Horizon Ridge or click on the online booking tool today.