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Posted on 03-28-2016
The most common cause of vision problems in patients over 60 can affect you at any age. As the principle cause of blindness in the world, it's important that cataracts be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Your eye lens is a lot like a camera lens, focusing light toward the back of the eye to create pictures. It's mostly made up of water and protein. As your eyes age, the protein may begin to clump together and obscure the clarity of your lens, clouding it and making it hard for you to see. No one knows exactly why one person's eyes will form cataracts while another's won't, but they've found some contributing factors such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, family history, and prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Most people are surprised when they get a diagnosis of cataracts. They appear most often before any symptoms are felt, and can stay dormant for years, and some people's cataracts never progress past this point. Others will begin to notice a clouding or yellowing in their vision, much like looking through a gauzy curtain or a fog bank. This makes it increasingly difficult for the patient to see, and eventually affects their work, driving, and daily life.
Only an eye doctor can correctly diagnose cataracts, which is why it's important to have your eyes examined at least every two years throughout your adult life. Our doctor of optometry will examine your eyes using a special light known as a slit lamp, which can show white opaque parts or a general yellowing of the lens. The doctor will also examine the interior of the eye to confirm the diagnosis.
If you do have cataracts, you may need to do nothing at first. If your eyesight begins to worsen, our optometrists can prescribe stronger eyeglasses, which can solve the problem for a time. Once the cataract worsens, we can advise on cataract surgery, and do follow-up care once the surgery is successful.
If you haven't had your eyes examined in the last two years, call Eye 1st Vision Center for an appointment at 404-252-1702. Early diagnosis is the crucial first step toward treating cataracts.
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