Cataract Treatment in Pottsville, PA
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If your vision is cloudy and your night vision is getting worse, you might have cataracts. Does the glare of those oncoming headlights seem really bright? Is there a halo around the light? Do colors seem faded to you? If you have one or more of these symptoms, you might have cataracts, so come see the eye professionals at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania for cataract treatment in Pottsville, PA.
What causes cataracts?
The lens of the eye works much like a camera lens does by focusing light and adjusting the eye’s focus to allow sight close up and far away. As people age, proteins begin forming over the lens to form a cataract which eventually grows larger and therefore clouds the lens. Because the lens is not clear, the image is not sharp.
There are several reasons why cataracts form. Cataracts are age-related, so as you get older, you are more likely to develop them in one or both eyes. Genetics play a role, and people who smoke or have diabetes are more likely to form cataracts; they are more likely to progress more quickly and also more likely to appear at a younger age. Some of the medications you take, such as steroids or cholesterol-reducing statins, are known to contribute to cataract development. Sometimes, a past eye injury can be the trigger for a cataract to develop months or even years later. Environmental factors also play a role; exposure to different types of radiation may cause cataracts to form.
How does my eye doctor test for cataracts?
Our eye professionals will perform a comprehensive eye exam that includes a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam and a pressure measurement using a tonometer. The visual acuity test is the typical eye chart vision test you know and love; reading of letters and numbers helps the doctor determine how good your distance vision is.
Drops are placed in the eyes to dilate them for the eye exam. With a special magnifying instrument, the doctor can closely examine eye structures like the lens, optic nerve and retina to detect eye problems. Note that vision can be blurry for several hours due to the dilation. A tonometer measures the pressure inside the eye; high pressure can indicate some additional eye problems. Depending on the findings from these initial three exams, additional tests may be needed.
What is the treatment if I have cataracts?
If cataracts are in the early stages, sunglasses or anti-glare lenses may help in bright light. A new eyeglasses prescription may also help.
However, for more advanced cataracts, surgery is the only option to correct the problems. Doctors will only recommend surgery if the cataracts are significantly limiting daily activities like driving or reading or watching television. Just know that if you delay surgery, it’s okay to do so. The delay does not create more damage or make the surgery more complicated.
In cataract surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged cloudy lens and replaces it with a new artificial lens. A surgeon never operates on both eyes at once, for obvious reasons! Each eye will be operated on separately, typically about a month apart to allow time for healing.
Cataract surgery is a commonly performed procedure, and as such is very safe. The surgery is also very effective. After the surgery, your vision will be much sharper.
Like any surgery, cataract surgery is not without risk. Bleeding and infection can occur. If you take blood thinners or similar medications, the doctor will require you to stop these a few days before surgery to lower the risk of bleeding. You can typically resume all medications immediately after surgery. Infection is always a risk with any surgery, but you will be prescribed medications after surgery to minimize the risk of an infection which might lead to vision loss or other eye complications.
Cataracts affect more than 25 million Americans, and if you are one of them, we can definitely help. Make an appointment today with the eye professionals at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania for Cataract Treatment in Pottsville, PA.
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