Cataracts are responsible for almost half of the cases of visual impairment in the world. Millions of Americans have this vision-threatening disease.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, your trusted provider of low vision therapy and other eye care services, explains how cataracts develop and what we can do about it.
How They Happen
Your eye lenses are mostly made up of water and protein. Their transparency plays a large role in helping you see clearly. Over time, the protein breakdown in your body may be more prominent, causing protein fragments to build up on your lens surfaces, resulting in cataract formation. This may lead to clouding of your lenses, limiting the light that reaches your eyes.
Your eye doctor explains that increasing age is a major risk factor for cataract formation. If you have relatives with cataracts, you’re more likely to have this problem as well. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, are at a higher risk of developing secondary cataracts. Traumatic cataracts may also appear as a complication of eye injuries or surgeries while radiation cataracts are common among those frequently exposed to radiation.
How They Affect Your Eyesight
You may not notice any visual changes at first. As the condition advances, however, you may start having hazy or blurry eyesight, similar to looking through a dusty windshield or a foggy window. This may put you at a higher risk of losing your balance and sustaining injuries. Reduced low-light visual acuity and increased sensitivity to glare are also common.
How They Are Managed
We may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses with stronger lens powers to help you see better. It’s also a must that you have adequate lighting in your home to ensure your safety. If the cataracts are causing significant restrictions on your eyesight, we may recommend removing them through surgery. Rest assured we’ll explain everything you need to know in detail and help you prepare for the procedure.
For more information about cataract development, get in touch with us by calling one of our locations. You may also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve Virginia families in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and Reston.