What are the Common Causes of Cataracts?

Featured Image

Vision changes are an expected part of the aging process, many of which are treatable with reading glasses or corrective lenses. Cataracts commonly appear in individuals over the age of 40 and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent irreversible and devastating vision loss. At The Eye Center of Southern Indiana, our team of eye doctors works with patients residing in and around Bloomington, IN to meet their vision needs. A portion of our services is dedicated to the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of cataracts.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes and commonly impact aging adults. Proteins of the inner lens behind the pupil break down and lump together, causing vision to cloud or fog. If left untreated, vision progressively worsens with time and can even result in complete blindness. At The Eye Center of Southern Indiana, our team has the diagnostic tools to identify cataract symptoms early to help prevent total vision loss.

What are the common causes of cataracts?

There is no singular cause for cataracts. Research shows a correlation between increased risk for cataracts and certain lifestyle choices as well as specific medical conditions. This can include:

  • Smoking

  • High or frequent alcohol consumption

  • Excessive UV ray exposure

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Injury to the eye(s)

  • Certain medication use, like diuretics or steroids

In some cases, infants or small children may have cataracts resulting from unique birth defects. Many adults develop cataracts simply because they are getting older.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

At The Eye Center of Southern Indiana, our team of eye doctors performs a detailed assessment utilizing standardized tools that specifically address the signs and symptoms of cataracts. Some eye examination tools include the:

  • Visual acuity test: Using an eye chart to assess your ability to read letters in various sizes

  • Retinal exam: Dilating the pupil to examine the inner eye structures

  • Applanation tonometry: Used to measure fluid pressure in the eyes

  • Slit-lamp test: Using intense light under magnification to closely examine the inner eye

How can cataracts be treated?

When symptoms have progressed to the point where corrective lenses aren’t working to improve your vision, cataract surgery is the next option. During cataract surgery, the patient is usually awake and their eyes are numbed with a local anesthetic. Surgery takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete in one of our private treatment rooms at The Eye Center of Southern Indiana. One of our eye doctors will remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear, artificial one.

Can cataracts go away on their own?

Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of cataracts do not diminish with time. In fact, symptoms will only get worse if left untreated. If you are experiencing vision changes that make your surroundings appear cloudy or foggy, it may be time to get an assessment for cataracts.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts

You may need to get an eye examination if any of the following issues arise:

  • You are unable to drive safely

  • You struggle to perfomr job-related tasks due to reduced vision

  • You are unable to read small print, even with corrective lenses

  • Performing basic activities of daily living becomes challenging

  • Your vision gets worse with bright light exposure

  • You are falling, losing your balance, or bumping into things more often

Worsening cataracts can impede your ability to perform meaningful daily tasks, and can prove dangerous if not treated early on.

Learn more about cataract treatment options

If you reside in or around Bloomington, IN and are concerned that you may be showing early signs or symptoms of cataracts, contact our team at The Eye Center of Southern Indiana and schedule an appointment today. Our highly skilled eye doctors will work with you to assess and diagnose your symptoms and provide you with the best treatment options.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.

//END Accessibe })(); }