Testing and Care for Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions and occur when the natural lens of the eyes, which is a small, usually transparent disc, develops cloudy patches. Over time, these patches will grow larger until they considerably impact the patient’s ability to see clearly and without treatment, blindness becomes inevitable. To help you understand more about the condition, and what can be done to preserve your vision, here’s what you need to know about cataracts. 


Causes of Cataracts


It isn’t known exactly why some people develop cataracts and others don’t. However, we do know that they are more common in older patients and this is believed to be because the proteins that naturally occur in the lens of the eye change over time. Instead of being evenly dispersed so that we can see right through them, they get thicker and clump together to form the cloudy patches that characterize the condition. 


Symptoms of Cataracts


Cataracts develop fairly slowly, and this means that it can take some time to notice the subtle changes in your vision that they cause. They usually appear in both eyes but may not necessarily develop at the same speed in each, meaning that your vision could be better in one eye than the other. Symptoms of cataracts include:


  • Blurred, misted vision that is like looking through frosted glass

  • Sensitivity to light and glare

  • Difficulty seeing in low light

  • Colors appear muted/faded


Cataracts do not normally cause any discomfort or pain, nor do they cause irritation. 


Diagnosing Cataracts


In most instances, cataracts are detected during routine comprehensive eye exams, although if your vision has become significantly affected, you may have requested an interim appointment with your eye doctor. The process is simple and will involve your eye doctor simply examining your eyes through a piece of equipment called a slit lamp microscope. This allows them to visualize the structures at the very front of your eye under magnification so that any abnormalities, such as the clouding that characterizes cataracts, can be detected. 


In addition to a slit lamp exam, your eye doctor may also perform a visual acuity test. This is the aspect of eye exams people are most familiar with and involve using an eye chart to measure how well you can see at different distances. This test will tell them if you have any visual impairment that could be associated with having cataracts.  


Care for Cataracts


If you are diagnosed with cataracts, you may be recommended to try using stronger prescription glasses or contact lenses, which may help improve your vision for some time. You may also find that changing your lightbulbs for brighter varieties and reading lights may also help improve your vision. Nevertheless, cataracts are progressive and without treatment, they will get worse. The only way to restore the vision of a patient with significant visual impairment is to undergo lens replacement surgery. This is where the clouded lens is removed from the eye and replaced with an artificial alternative that can’t be affected by cataracts. This procedure can be carried out at any time, whether your cataracts are mild or more significant. Our eye doctor will talk you through what you can expect to happen, but cataract procedures are very common and straightforward, with countless being performed every year. 



If you have further questions about cataracts, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to have your eyes assessed, please get in touch with our family eye care center in Wapakoneta, OH  today. 

In Touch

Contact Us