A cataract is a common age-related eye disease that affects more than 25 million Americans. At Weil Eye Care Medical Center in San Carlos, California, Leslie Weil, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist, diagnoses cataracts and offers customized treatment and management advice to help you see clearly. If you’re concerned about cataracts and are due for an eye exam, call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or schedule a consultation online today.
A cataract is a condition that develops when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy. As you age, the proteins in your natural lenses start to break down, eventually causing the cataract to form.
The changes in your eye usually begin around the age of 40, but the condition develops gradually, so you might not notice any symptoms for decades.
Cataracts are typically age-related, although other factors contribute to your risk. For example, excessive exposure to UV rays, diseases like diabetes, certain medications, and smoking increase your chances of developing cataracts. Sometimes cataracts are hereditary, but that is less common.
Cataracts don’t usually cause symptoms in their early stages. However, as the condition progresses, you might notice that your vision becomes blurry or your night vision declines. You might also find that you’re more sensitive to glare and that colors seem faded or yellowed.
Often, the earliest warning sign of cataracts occurs during a comprehensive eye exam, when Dr. Weil finds changes in your natural lens.
If you start to develop cataracts, Dr. Weil typically recommends close monitoring of your vision and eye health. In the early stages of cataracts, she can prescribe corrective lenses to help you see clearly.
Dr. Weil also provides advice to help you manage your condition, such as using bright lights when you read or use a screen. You should also take care always to wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and slow the progression of your condition.
However, if your cataracts continue to develop and significantly impair your vision, Dr. Weil may recommend cataract surgery.
During cataract surgery, you have your natural lens removed and an intraocular lens is implanted, replacing your clouded lens with a new, clear artificial lens. The operation is an outpatient procedure and usually takes fewer than 30 minutes. You should have clear vision within a few days of your surgery.
Every year, over 3.8 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States. The procedure is extremely safe and has a 98% success rate. However, there are risks with any procedure and therefore determining the balance of risk versus benefit of cataract surgery in your individual situation is taken very seriously.
Dr. Weil provides comprehensive evaluations before recommending cataract surgery. Dr. Weil can answer your questions and help you decide if cataract surgery is right for you.
Call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or make an appointment online today for expert cataract management and treatment.