As the body ages, the eyes age right along with it. For people 40 years and older, the risk of developing cataracts increases with each passing year. Cataracts appear when the lens of your eye starts to become discolored, causing your vision to become cloudy. Read on as a Hackensack, NJ optometrist talks about cataracts, how they develop, who’s most at risk, and the importance of early treatment.
With aging comes a breakdown of the materials and structures that make up the eyes. The lens, which sits behind your iris or the colored part of the eye, focuses incoming light and directs it onto the retina. Cataracts are a condition where the lens becomes cloudy.
Your eye consists mainly of protein and water, which is supposed to allow light to pass through the lens. As your eyes age, this protein-water mix can start to clump together and clouds the lens. As the lens becomes more cloudy, your vision becomes less clear. Aging can also cause the lens to harden, making it less flexible. This, too, can contribute to cloudy vision.
Cataracts tend to develop in both eyes, though not always at the same rate. This can create a difference in vision between the eyes. Usually, cataracts develop over time, though injury to the lens can also cause them.
Since cataracts usually develop gradually, it can be hard to spot symptoms during the early stages. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate the subtle changes in vision that occur. For these reasons, it helps to know the early signs and symptoms of cataracts.
Here are a few to keep a lookout for:
The severity and complexity of your condition will determine the type of cataract treatment you’ll require. First off, an optometrist will conduct a series of eye tests to assess the condition of your eyes. The types of tests administered may include:
While surgical removal is the standard method for eliminating cataracts, other less-invasive forms of treatment may improve your vision if this condition is caught in the early stages.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, feel free to call our Hackensack, NJ optometry office today.