Being diagnosed with cataracts, or worrying that you might have cataracts, can be distressing, especially if you don't know much about this common condition. This brief guide aims to explain the condition in more detail, from the symptoms through to the treatment.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are very, very common, with around 700,000 Australians suffering from them at any given time, according to Medibank. Cataracts is simply the name for the clouding of the eye, caused by a build-up of protein in the lens of the eye. They are not dangerous, but get steadily worse over time, causing vision loss. Cataracts are typically related to age, with most cases occurring in people over 40, with the risk increasing as you age. However, babies can be born with cataracts, and they are also more common if you have certain other health issues, such as diabetes.
How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?
Most cataracts develop very gradually, so it might be hard to recognise them unless you know what to look out for. Healthline describes some of the most common symptoms of cataracts, explaining that sensitivity to bright lights is one of the most noticeable. However, you may notice halos or rings around lights, as well as a yellow tint to everything, or perhaps even just general changes in your vision. Cataracts are typically discovered by an optician during your regular checkup, so it is important to get your eyes tested regularly, especially if you are over 40 and therefore more likely to be at risk. If you notice any vision changes or eye issues, make an appointment for an eye test, even if you had one recently.
How Are Cataracts Treated?
The treatment for cataracts, like for many conditions, depends on how severe the problem is. Some people with very minor cataracts opt not to have surgery and can correct their condition with accurate glasses prescriptions and regular check-ups. However, if your cataracts are seriously impairing your vision and impacting your life, you can have cataract surgery. As the Mayo Clinic explains, the surgery is a short outpatient procedure that involves the cataract being removed, and sometimes an artificial lens being inserted. This will restore your sight lost to cataracts. Your doctor will be able to explain the procedure in full, as well as let you know what the side effects could be, and how to recover most efficiently.
If you are worried that you may have cataracts, speak to an eye doctor about your symptoms and concerns. It is also important to get regular checkups as this common condition often goes unnoticed at first, but it is fully treatable.
Hello, my name is Peter and I live in Western Australia with my wife on our pet dogs. This is my blog which details how to deal with various medical emergencies and other conditions. Last year, several friends and members of my family suffered from various different kinds of medical problems. Some of them, such as my uncle had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment that saved his life. Lots of my friends had minor problems which had a big impact on the quality of their lives. I take an active interest in first-aid and other medical matters so I decided to start this blog.