A Cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. Left untreated, it is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Vision loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs the passage of light to the retina.
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common cause for cataracts is biological aging and overexposure to ultraviolet light. The lens lies behind the iris and pupil and works to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The rest of our eye structures work together to adjust and transmit images to the brain which allows us to see objects and colors.
The lens is made of mostly water and proteins. The protein stays aligned in a way that the lens remains clear. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. Much like trying to look through a foggy window, the clouding is what causes blurriness and difficulty seeing and is called a cataract. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights.
While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that block 100% UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset as well as decrease the exposure to direct sunlight. New research has also shown that cataracts are forming earlier than average due to increased exposure to the harmful blue light that is emitted from computers, tablets, cell phones, and even LED lights. Valley Vision Clinic now offers specific lenses that block this blue light. Those lenses are recommended for any child or young adult who is exposed to these light sources. Ask your Optometrist about the Eyezen® lens today.
Treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. The most common form of treatment is surgery. In fact, by age 80 more than half of all Americans either have a cataract, or have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery replaces the lens inside an affected eye and restores your clear vision.
If you have questions about cataracts or other eye health conditions, please call our office or speak with one of our doctors at your next appointment. Learn more about how annual eye exams check for symptoms and other threats to your vision by watching our video.