Your vision is a priceless function that you expect to retain for life. To do so takes a bit of effort. The more we learn about common eye conditions, the better we are all able to take care of our own eyes and prevent irreparable damage from conditions such as cataracts.
Did you know that cataracts account for the largest number of cases of vision loss around the world? To reduce the risk of this happening to you or someone you love, it is necessary to recognize the warning signs that care is needed. One way to do that is to obtain routine ophthalmic care as you age.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are typically not a singular problem. The clumping together of proteins on the lens of one or both eyes can worsen over time, beginning as one clump and growing into several. The larger a cataract grows, the harder it is to see.
What to Look For
It is not uncommon for the early form of cataracts to produce no symptoms. Vision may remain normal for some time until the lens becomes more clouded by protein. A person with cataracts is looking through a clouded lens, and this is precisely what it can feel like as cataracts worsen. Additional indicators that proteins may be accumulating on the lens include:
- Frequent need to upgrade prescription lenses
- Vision feels “dim” or is blurry or cloudy
- Light or glare sensitivity occurs
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Halos appear around light sources
- Colors are not as vibrant as they once were
- One eye sees double-vision
Are you at Risk?
We all have a minor risk for cataracts due to changes in the eye as we age. Additional risk factors include:
- Family history
- UV radiation (sunlight)
Fortunately, healthy lifestyle habits such as limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding cigarettes, and maintaining a healthy weight all work in your favor toward the prevention of cataracts. If necessary or desired, your ophthalmologist may also recommend or prescribe sunglasses that block 100% of UV light from entering the eye.
Dr. Murrell is a cataract specialist who is familiar with the latest developments in cataract removal and replacement with an appropriate intraocular lens. Contact one of our Amarillo offices to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.