Cloud Cover All Around

Cataracts are a disease that causes a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens. This occurs as proteins inside the lens break down. Light entering the cataractous lens then gets distorted and is unable to pass through as intended.

Can you make this paragraph bigger?

Without an unimpeded path for light to travel through, images often begin to appear blurry or hazy. Patients can also have increased difficulty seeing in the dark and colors may appear faded. Interestingly, cataracts can also cause sensitivity to light and glare or haloes to form around bright objects. These symptoms tend to worsen over time and can lead to blindness if untreated.

Are you calling me old?

Cataracts are most commonly associated with aging and tend to start showing symptoms around age 60. Trauma to the eye is another leading factor alongside ailments such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Steroids and radiation treatments can also play a role in the formation of the disease.

More problems than one

Vision loss from cataracts can be significant, especially as symptoms become more severe. However, other eye issues can make these problems even worse. Managing these conditions in tandem is possible with the proper precautions.

Adding glaucoma to the mix

Glaucoma can result in decreased peripheral vision due to increased pressure inside the eye. Where cataracts generally start centrally, the two diseases can make seeing a challenge anywhere. Careful watch of eye pressure is paramount to keeping glaucoma under wraps. Certain medications or glaucoma surgery can accelerate cataract formation, necessitating a delicate balance between the two.

A failing macula

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) targets the macula, the area in the back of the eye responsible for central vision. Cataracts often worsen the effects of AMD by adding an extra layer of light distortion. Since there is no cure for macular degeneration at this time, ophthalmologists may choose to address the cataract in hopes of improving sight.

The woes of diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels on the retina, located in the back of the eye. The disease is a common cause of vision loss for individuals with diabetes. What’s more, diabetes significantly increases the risk of cataracts forming. Careful management of diabetes plays a role in controlling both of these conditions.

Taking care of the issue

Whenever eye issues are present, the first step should always be to visit a specialist. There, the doctor can perform regular exams to diagnose and monitor any and all conditions. With information in hand, the surgeon can develop a treatment plan designed to offer the best quality of life now and down the road.

Change things up

An effective strategy to combat multiple eye conditions is a positive lifestyle change. Eating fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids is important for eye health. Maintaining a safe blood sugar level can prevent or reduce the rate these conditions form. Similarly, avoiding smoking and staying at a healthy weight can reduce the risk of eye damage.

Take cataracts out of the picture

The only way to deal with cataracts at this time is through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The eye care professional will consider all known eye conditions before deciding if surgery is a viable option. Options may exist during the procedure to treat other vision problems at the same time, helping to reduce the burden of managing multiple issues.