An Overview of Cataracts from University Eye Associates
At University Eye Associates, we provide reliable eye care to patients in the Charlotte and Davidson areas. One of the most common reasons people seek eye care services is cataracts. Continue reading to learn more about cataracts and how your eye doctor can help treat them.
Warning Signs for Cataracts
In the early stages of cataracts, you may notice little to no effect on your vision. Gradually, you may notice a slight blurriness or a haze in your vision. Cataracts may alter the light from the sun or a lamp to appear too bright or glaring. Driving at night may pose a larger risk as you begin to notice the oncoming headlights create a glare that wasn’t there before. Lastly, colors may not appear as vibrant or bright as they once did. If any of these warning signs sound familiar, you should consider seeing an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis.
What Causes Cataracts?
The eye uses a lens to focus light onto the retina. The lens can be adjusted to focus on objects both near and far, but sometimes vision issues can arise. When the proteins within the eye begin to clump together, often due to aging, a cataract begins to form growing larger with time. The cataract will cloud more of the lens as it grows and the light that passes through the lens is no longer properly focused.
Age is a major factor when it comes to the formation of cataracts, but decades of research has found that other factors may increase the risk of cataracts as well.
- U.V. radiation
- Eye injuries or inflammation
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family history
Studies and statistics show that cataracts are incredibly common among the population. This fact is especially true when advanced age is taken into consideration. That being said, there are studies that indicate that some nutrients and nutritional supplements may reduce your risk of cataracts. An increase in vitamin E as well as carotenoids lutein in a daily diet has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts. Foods such as almonds, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables are great food options to consider when trying to prevent the formation of cataracts.
For those who spend a lot of time outdoors, proper eye protection can also reduce your risk of cataracts. Not just any sunglasses will do, try to wear sunglasses that block out UV rays. Sunglasses are important and not just in the summer months. Winter sunshine can cause just as many issues so be sure to bring a pair of sunglasses whenever you leave the house.
The symptoms of cataracts can be treated with a new prescription for your glasses, strong bifocals, increased lighting within the environment, and surgery. Surgery is often the last resort but it has become more common over past decades thanks in part to the improvement of medical technology. The procedure is simple, mostly painless, and you can have both eyes done at one time.
Contact University Eye Associates Today to Make an Appointment
At University Eye Associates, we offer optometry services to the Charlotte and Davidson areas. Our providers work hard to stay up to date on the latest information in our field. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with cataracts and other eye care needs, call us today to make an appointment with our team!