By the time most people in the United States reach the age of 80, half of them have some degree of cataracts, or they’ve had cataract surgery. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes, often starting out small, which makes regular monitoring and early treatment key. To help, Sophie K. Dao, OD, provides comprehensive eye exams that check for cataracts in her patients in Milpitas, California. To stay one step ahead of cataracts, call or schedule an appointment online.
Cataracts Q & A
What are cataracts?
To better understand what cataracts are, it’s helpful to step back and review how your eyes function. Behind your iris and pupil lies your lens, which focuses light onto your retina. Your retina receives the light and sends the information to your optic nerve. From there, your optic nerve relays the message to your brain, which acts as an interpreter and creates an image.
As the frontline of your vision, your lens is extremely important in that it’s responsible for focusing the light onto your retina.
Your lens is made up of water and protein, and when the protein begins to clump together, it forms a cataract, which clouds your lens. These clumps can grow larger over time and have a major impact on your vision.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
One symptom of cataracts is seeing more glare from any type of light -- whether it’s the sun, indoor lighting, or car headlights at night. You may see halos around bright lights, too. Other common symptoms of cataracts are:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Colors that are faded and less sharp
- Decreased night vision
- Double vision
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Dao.
What causes cataracts?
There are several conditions or behaviors that contribute to the development of cataracts, chief among them:
- Getting older
- Exposure to UV light
How are cataracts treated?
During your regular eye exams, Dr. Dao routinely checks for any signs of cataracts. To do this, she dilates your pupil so she can get a better look at what’s going on inside your eyes. She also performs a standard vision test, as well as an eye pressure test.
If she finds evidence of early cataracts, she may recommend several courses of action, such as:
- New prescription glasses
- UV block coating
- Better lighting
If your cataract is severely hampering your ability to perform everyday functions, such as driving, she may recommend cataract surgery to remove the cataract. This surgery is very common and very effective.
The good news with cataracts is that they aren’t dangerous, and they’re very common. Depending upon the degree of your cataract(s), Dr. Dao is often able to find solutions that work to offset the effects they’re having on your vision.
To learn how to best manage cataracts, call Sophie K. Dao, OD, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.