Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of vision problems. Though cataracts may not be preventable, they’re highly treatable. The highly skilled ophthalmologists at the practice of Dr. Wayne H. Martin, MD in Diamond Bar, California, can treat your cataracts. To get a diagnosis or treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone today.
Like cameras, your eyes have lenses that focus light, enabling you to see objects near and far.
These lenses contain proteins. When your eyes are healthy, the proteins form precise structures that allow you to see clearly. Cataracts result when these proteins clump together, so less light reaches your eyes.
When your vision appears cloudy from a cataract, you’re looking directly at the clumps of protein that are blocking your eyesight. Cataracts develop slowly. At first, they only cover a tiny part of your eye, so you may not have any noticeable symptoms. Cataracts interfere with your vision when they grow large enough to obstruct your vision.
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes cataracts, so there’s no guaranteed way to prevent them. Since most cataracts are related to age, you should get a comprehensive eye exam, including a cataract screening, starting at age 50.
When you have cataracts, what you see may appear blurry, foggy, or cloudy. You may find reading difficult, struggle driving at night because of increased glare from oncoming headlights, and have trouble distinguishing people’s facial expressions.
Cataracts most commonly develop in people age 60 and older, though they can also affect younger people who have experienced traumatic eye injuries or who have a genetic condition affecting their eyes. If you get cataracts, you’ll likely get it in both eyes, but not evenly. This means your vision will likely be worse in one eye than the other.
The only treatment for cataracts is surgery. However, if you have a small, early cataract, your doctor may recommend waiting to get surgery. Your doctor may instead:
If your cataract is large enough to significantly block your vision, the next step is surgery. Your doctor will perform cataract surgery in the office. During the procedure, your doctor will replace your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. If you need cataract surgery in both eyes, your doctor will operate on each eye during separate procedures, spaced at least a week apart, to allow time for healing.
The procedure, performed under local anesthesia, normally takes 15-20 minutes. Any discomfort you experience should be minimal. Your vision should improve within a few days, and you should be able to resume many of your everyday activities within a week or two.
To get a diagnosis or treatment for cataracts, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Wayne H. Martin, MD today.