Some of the most common eye disorders can produce some of the most devastating effects on vision. This is certainly the case with cataracts, which afflict the majority of American by age 80 and serve as a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Fortunately, however, cataracts are also highly treatable when you have the right eye team providing the necessary diagnosis and recommendations. Foster Vision is happy to help you preserve optimal eyesight for many years to come, even if you’re troubled by cataracts.
Cataract Causes and Effects
The term “cataract” comes from the Latin word for “waterfall” — and seeing the world through cataracts can indeed be like looking through a semi-opaque barrier. The lens of the eye is normally completely transparent so light can enter the eye efficiently. But this transparency is only possible because the proteins of the lens are arranged in a careful pattern. When this arrangement fails and the proteins gather together, they form a cloudy white “filter” that blocks some incoming light. This is a cataract, and it can cause symptoms such as:
- Low or blurry vision
- Reduced contrast and night vision
- Altered color perception
- Light sensitivity
- Odd radial patterns around bright lights
Cataracts usually form in the front center of the eye (nuclear cataracts), but they can also form toward the rear (subcapsular cataracts) or from the outer rim inward in spoke-like patterns (cortical cataracts). Nuclear cataracts are associated with normal aging and UV exposure; the other types of cataracts are more likely to be triggered by steroid use, diabetes, and other risk factors.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options at Our Portland, OR Clinic
A comprehensive eye exam at Foster Vision, which includes slit lamp testing and visual acuity testing, can reveal even the earliest traces of cataract development, even when these traces aren’t having any effect on your vision. Changes in your vision test results may also indicate possible cataracts. Luckily, most nuclear cataracts take years to progress. During this period, we can often keep your vision relatively sharp with corrective lenses. We will also recommend dietary and lifestyle practices (including UV protection) to slow the cataracts’ advance.
Don’t panic if your cataracts reach the stage where they require surgical removal. We can refer you to a skilled eye surgeon for a quick, totally painless procedure that can restore your vision to a pre-cataract state. We can then co-manage your recovery from the procedure.
Schedule an Eye Exam Today
Don’t let cataracts sneak up on you. Get the most out of your eyesight by scheduling an eye exam and any necessary care at Foster Vision in Portland, OR. Call (503) 546-4460 today!