Maryland Eye Care Center
Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in Silver Spring, MD & Hyattsville, MD
Cataracts are a common cause of deteriorating vision in older age, but under the care of the expert team of optometrists at Maryland Eye Care Center, you needn’t lose your sight. If you live in Silver Spring, Downtown Silver Spring, or Hyattsville, Maryland, turn to the experienced team at Maryland Eye Care Center to learn more about cataract treatments. Call the office today or book an appointment online.
Cataracts Q & A
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a vision problem that develops in the clear lens of your eye, causing it to become cloudy or opaque.
Cataracts most often affect people over 55, but they can sometimes develop in babies and young children. The clouding effect is due to changes in the proteins and fibers that make up the lens.
The lens of your eye is behind the iris, the colored central circle, and its role is to focus light on the retina. If light focuses accurately, the retina sends your brain a clear image of what you’re looking at.
If a cataract develops and clouds the lens, it can’t focus the incoming light, so the images your retina sends to your brain become blurry.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
Cataracts cause symptoms such as:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Reduction of color intensity
- Increased sensitivity to glaring light, such as car headlights
- Problems seeing at night
Cataracts typically develop at a slow rate, so you may not realize at first that there’s a problem. Over time, the symptoms worsen, and your vision deteriorates more noticeably.
What causes a cataract?
Cataracts are most often caused by changes in the lens that happen as part of the aging process, but other factors can contribute to the development of cataracts, such as:
- Having diabetes
- Taking corticosteroid medication
- Taking phenothiazine-related medications
- Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun
- Being a smoker
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Eating a diet that doesn’t provide enough antioxidants may also increase your risk of developing cataracts.
How are cataracts diagnosed and treated?
Your optometrist at Maryland Eye Care Center can diagnose cataracts by carrying out a thorough eye exam. Patients whose vision is only mildly impaired may manage perfectly well with an up-to-date prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
However, if cataracts cause vision issues that are hindering your ability to lead a normal life, surgery is the best option.
Surgery for cataracts involves removing your lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL).
Cataract surgery is known to be one of the safest operations you can have, with high success rates, meaning you should regain full clarity of vision after the procedure.
If you have any of the symptoms of cataracts or are concerned about your eye health, call Maryland Eye Care Center today, or book an appointment online.