More than 22 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. If you’re among this growing population, or at risk, the trusted optometrists of Valley Eye Professionals, located in the Studio City area of Los Angeles, can help. If you have symptoms of cataracts or are at risk of developing them, call the office or book an appointment online.
Cataracts are a condition in which you experience clouding of your eye’s natural lens. The lens rests behind your iris and pupil and helps focus light on your retina to form images. Usually, cataracts occur in older people and affect one or both eyes. Cataracts aren’t contagious and can’t spread from one eye to the other.
Cataracts may begin as small clumps of cloudiness, so small that you don’t notice changes in your vision. With time, cataracts can get bigger and start to interfere with your vision, making it duller and blurrier. The lens also starts to change to a yellow-brown color, tinting your vision as well.
Images are created when the lens focuses light on the back of the eye. The lens consists primarily of water and protein arranged in a pattern that keeps the lens clear and transparent.
As you get older, the proteins start to shift and cling together, which causes the clouding in your vision. Smoking and diabetes can contribute to cataracts, along with the natural process of aging.
The vision changes associated with cataracts usually develop slowly. Some of the most common signs of a cataract are:
If your eyeglass or contact lens prescription changes often, it could also be a sign that you’re developing cataracts.
When the vision changes associated with cataracts become too severe and are affecting your daily life, you may be a candidate for surgery. Cataract surgery involves placing an intraocular lens (IOL) inside your eye to replace the cataract-affected lens and restore clear vision. There are a variety of premium IOLs to choose from.
During cataract surgery, you’re usually awake but are administered an anesthetic to numb the nerves around your eye. The procedure is well-tolerated by most patients and causes little to no pain.
To learn more about cataract evaluation and diagnosis, call the office of Valley Eye Professionals or book an appointment online.