Just as with the rest of the body, the eyes are likely to show signs of wear as they age. Even patients who have never experienced vision problems or suffered from eye disease are more likely to deal with ocular conditions as they reach their advanced years. For our Chicago patients, a cataract is a common problem that develops with age. Although cataracts can be experienced at any age, they are most likely to develop in patients who are aged 60 or older. Recognizing the causes and symptoms of cataracts is important in detecting cataracts at their earliest stages so that appropriate treatment can be sought at our laser eye surgery center, Chicago Cornea Consultants™.
Causes of Cataracts
While any patient, even a child, may experience cataracts, the most common cause of cataracts is aging. Elderly patients are most likely to suffer from cataracts because this condition is most likely to develop as a result of many years of exposure to the sun. In addition to age, other factors that are likely to increase the chances of cataracts include heavy alcohol consumption and patients who have prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke and pollution. In patients who suffer from cataracts, there is a buildup of protein in the refractive lens. This prevents light from properly passing through the lens and creates the cloudy, blurred vision that is associated with cataracts.
Most often, patients who suffer from cataracts will gradually begin to notice changes in their eyesight as this condition progresses. As the cataract develops and causes the lens to become cloudy or discolored, patients are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Vision that is blurry or hazy (patients often say that it feels as though they are seeing things through a foggy glass)Problems with night vision, such as the appearance of glares or halosThe appearance of glares during the daySensitivity to lightDouble visionColors that appear dull or fadedA sudden change in eye prescription after years of stable prescriptions
The presence of any of these conditions may be cause for concern, especially for patients who are at higher risk of developing cataracts. Patients who believe they may suffer from cataracts should schedule a comprehensive eye exam and share these concerns with one of our eye doctors so that a diagnosis can be made.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available for cataracts. At the early stages of this disease, the vision can be corrected by the use of corrective lenses. As the condition progresses and begins to interfere with daily tasks or negatively impact a patient’s quality of life, surgical treatments can be discussed. These options include cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange. Our doctors are happy to discuss these procedures in more detail.
Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam
With cataracts and any other eye disease, early detection is vital to the success of treatment. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of cataracts or are simply overdue for an eye examination, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™ at your earliest convenience to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Our experienced doctors are here to care for the health of your eyes.