Whether Cataracts Can Be Prevented is Unknown
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss for adults over the age of 40. This lens-clouding condition is often associated with adults over 80, but it causes more blindness than macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy combined. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts, and by the age 75, nearly 50% of all Americans will have a cataract.
Are there different types of cataracts?
Yes. Cataracts is a blanket term that is used to describe a clouding of the lens, but there are several different types:
- Subcapsular cataract – This type of cataracts affects the back of the lens. People with diabetes or individuals who take steroid medications are at a higher risk than others of being diagnosed with this particular form of cataracts
- Nuclear cataract – This type of cataract occurs within the nucleus of the lens. It is most commonly diagnosed in older adults.
- Cortical cataract – This type of cataract starts on the outside of the lens and moves inwards, eventually affecting the lens cortex.
The type of treatment you receive will depend on what part of the eye cataracts is occurring. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a First Eye Care McKinney optometrist today to make sure your vision is healthy and cataracts-free.
Signs of Cataracts
For example, some of the most common signs of cataracts include:
- Blurred, clouded, or dimmed vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Sensitivity to light or glare
- Colors may not appear as bright as they used to
- You find yourself needing a brighter light when reading
- You notice halos around lights
- Your eyeglass or contact lens prescription changes frequently
- You have double vision in one eye
Patients often overlook a clouding of the vision. This is typically the first sign of cataracts. As the cataract gets bigger, more of the lens will become cloudy. Light will no longer pass through the lens as it should.
Treatment for cataracts will depend on a host of factors, such as your age and how much the condition has progressed. If diagnosed in the early stages, glasses, bifocals, and magnification may be able to help. Other visual aids are often recommended as well as making sure you have the right lighting. When cataracts have progressed to a point where your vision is impaired and is affecting your quality of life, it may be time to consider surgery. Cataracts surgery is extremely common and something we would be happy to discuss with you.
There is still a lot of debate as to whether or not cataracts can be prevented. However, many believe that certain supplements and other nutrients can significantly reduce your risk of developing this common eye disease. Some of the supplements and food sources known to help slow the development of cataracts include:
- Vitamin E (such as in almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and other foods)
- Carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin (think leafy greens like kale and spinach)
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of cataracts, or if you have questions about treating and preventing cataracts, please contact First Eye Care McKinney today.