Tens of millions of people around the world live with cataracts. Because this condition has been pegged as a common cause of vision loss, there is value in learning its warning signs and risk factors. The good news about cataracts is that they can be removed in a straightforward surgical procedure performed by an ophthalmologist. The bad news is that there are misconceptions about this condition that may inhibit proper care. We want to bridge that gap by pointing out what those may be.
- Cataracts are an age-related problem. Statistics demonstrate that cataracts are most common among the 65 and older age group. However, this does not indicate that a younger person, even a child, is risk-free. Cataracts may develop secondary to another eye or health condition, such as diabetes. In some cases, this eye problem is congenital.
- A cataract is a growth on the eye’s surface. To refer to a cataract as growth is a simplification of the condition. To have a cataract means that cells on the lens of the eye have died but accumulated on the surface. This is why treatment for cataracts involves complete lens replacement.
- A cataract in one eye can then spread to the other. Cataracts are not “germ” problems; they are cellular. It is possible to have cataracts in only one eye, or in both. The presence of cataracts in both eyes only indicates the accumulation of cells on each lens.
- Laser treatment can remove cataracts. Cataract surgery is often referred to as cataract removal. We see how this can be misleading. The procedure of removal involves the entire lens. An appropriate artificial lens then replaces the natural lens.
- Eye strain can worsen cataracts. This eye condition is not related to how you use your eyes. The relation between cataracts and eye strain is only that, when performing up-close tasks, the presence of cataracts may be more noticeable.
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Cataract treatment can enable you to resume living the active lifestyle you would like. To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, call (806) 351-1177.