Serving eye care patients in Hartford, Enfield, Newington, & Vernon
Let’s talk about cataracts and what they are
What are cataracts exactly and how do you know if you have one? Behind the iris or colored portion of your eye is a structure called the lens. The lens will take the light coming in to the eye and bend it so that it forms an image on the retina. It is in the lens of the eye where cataracts will occur.
Signs & Symptoms of Cataracts
- Blurred vision (especially at distance)
- sensitivity to light
- trouble with glare
- finding that colors are not as bright as they once were
- frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
- increase in glare while drive at night from oncoming headlights
Most cataracts associated with aging develop slowly; many Solinsky EyeCare patients do not notice a loss of vision until it has become severe. Patients have described seeing through a cataract is like looking through a cloudy or dirty piece of glass. Some cataracts remain small and never need treatment; others grow more quickly and progressively larger. Only when a cataract seriously interferes with normal activities is it time to consider surgery. If you have been diagnosed with cataract, extra light can aid in reading. Since the cataract blocks light, the extra light will make it easier to read. Make sure that the light is coming from behind you as opposed to from the front. Light coming from in front of you can reflect off of your reading material and cause glare. It is helpful to have a lamp with a goose neck so that you can adjust the light to see the best.
Why do we get Cataracts?
No one knows exactly why the eye’s lens changes as we age, forming cataracts. Researchers are slowly starting to identify factors that may cause cataracts — and information that may help to prevent them. Many studies suggest that exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development, so eyecare practitioners recommend wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to decrease your exposure.The same goes for users of steroids, diuretics and major tranquilizers, but more studies are needed to distinguish the effect of the disease from the consequences of the drugs themselves.
How can you protect yourself from making your cataracts visually significant? Some eyecare practitioners believe that a diet high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E, may stall cataract development. While eating a lot of salt may increase your risk. Other risk factors include cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy alcohol consumption.
If you feel that your vision is not as clear as it once was, then you should call the office to make an appointment.