As you age, the protein that makes up your eyes’ lenses can build up. These age-related changes can result in the development of cloudy patches called a cataract. Most cataracts occur in people over the age of 55. But, they can also develop in infants and young children, or from trauma or certain medications. It’s common to see cataracts in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other.
An optometrist or ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine whether a cataract is present in your eye. This exam may include the following:
Patient History. Your eye doctor will go over your medical history to see if vision problems limit your day-to-day activities. This is also where general health concerns that affect your vision will be discussed.
Visual Acuity Test. Your eye doctor will use an eye chart to measure how well you can read a series of letters of various sizes. This test will help your doctor identify the extent to which your condition could be restricting your clear distance and near vision.
Pupil Dilation. Usually, the clouding in your lenses is not readily noticeable until the cataract has reached an advanced size. With this method, your pupil increases in size, letting your doctor see the entire lens to examine it thoroughly.
Magnification Test. Here, your eye doctor will use a slit lamp, which is a special microscope, to magnify your eyes. This way, your doctor can examine the lens more closely and confirm whether a cataract is present. If so, your doctor will also know its severity.
Currently, there remains no pharmacological treatment to cure cataracts or stop an existing one from progressing. Surgery is the only effective way to treat this eye condition. If you regularly visit your eye doctor and catch cataracts early, you might get by with a new pair of prescription glasses.
However, if the vision changes due to cataracts are starting to impact your ability to carry out your day-to-day activities, your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.
For many people, the most challenging part of developing cataracts is the loss of independence. But, receiving a diagnosis of this eye condition doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to a monotonous life that keeps you from engaging in activities you used to enjoy. Here are some ways to manage your cataract symptoms:
Update your prescription glasses or lenses. A stronger prescription may help improve your vision.
If glare is your problem, use brimmed hats or sunglasses that reduce glare. Also, try checking out special glasses with anti-glare coating.
Avoid driving at night as cataracts can cause increased light sensitivity, and halos can start forming around bright lights.
If blurry, hazy vision makes reading difficult, try using a magnifying glass or a brighter lamp.
Pay attention to how your cataracts impact the way you see. If vision changes start to affect your daily life, talk to your eye doctor.
Has your vision become dim or blurry? Do colors seem faded and details of objects difficult to make out? Visit Longview Eye Associates today in Longview, Texas. Our team of experts can help with diagnosing your condition. Call us now to make an appointment.