Cataracts are a very common condition of the eye. When protein deposits build up on the lens of your eye, it causes your vision to appear cloudy. Fortunately, the doctors at Foster Vision can treat the condition, helping you to see better.

Who Is at Risk for Cataracts?

As you get older, your risk for developing cataracts greatly increases. Several other factors can put you at risk for cataracts as well.

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol abuse
  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • Previous eye injury
  • Previous eye surgery

What Are Cataract Symptoms?

In the early stages, you may not notice any change in your vision. As the condition progresses, your vision will begin to worsen. Many people with advanced cataracts compare their vision to looking out a dirty window. A few other symptoms include:

  • Frequently needing to change your prescription
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Fading color vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Needing brighter lights to see in dim areas

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

Cataracts can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Your optometrist will perform a visual acuity test to determine if your vision has worsened since your last visit. A slit lamp exam can illuminate every part of your eye, allowing your eye doctor to check for cataracts. Finally, a dilated retinal exam will be performed to examine the lens of your eyes for the signs of cataracts. The information gathered from each of these tests can diagnose cataracts.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

In the early stages, your eye doctor will prescribe a stronger eyeglass prescription. When your vision impairment has begun to interfere with your everyday life, surgery may be necessary to restore your sight. The surgery is an outpatient procedure, and it is performed while you are awake. Your eye doctor will give you something to help you relax during the procedure. During the surgery, your eye doctor would remove your clouded lens, and replace it will a clear, artificial lens called an intraocular lens. There are a few types of lenses to choose from, based on your vision.

  • Fixed-focus monofocal: This lens can correct distance vision. If you need correction to see closeup, you may need reading glasses.
  • Accommodating-focus monofocal: These lenses respond to your eye movements, allowing you to see objects close up and at a distance.
  • Multifocal: This intraocular lens works the same way as bifocal glasses do.
  • Astigmatism: This lens can correct your astigmatism without the need for glasses.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of cataracts, the doctor of optometry at Forster Vision in Portland can help. Regular eye care is essential for catching cataracts and many other eye diseases early, before they become a problem. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.