Cataract Surgery Fort Worth & Hurst, TX
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. To the patient, it is like looking through a fogged-up window. Most cataracts are related to aging. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes. They generally do not cause irritation or pain, but cataract surgery is often the only solution.
Most cataracts develop slowly. Early on, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with vision problems. But if impaired vision jeopardizes your normal lifestyle, you may need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract removal is generally a safe, effective procedure.
Types of Cataracts
These are the four major types of cataracts:
These cataracts form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma. Cataracts can also develop in people who have other health problems, such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use.
These develop after an eye injury, and can occur sometimes years after the injury.
Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes. These may be so small that they do not affect vision. If they do, the lenses may need to be removed.
These develop after exposure to some types of radiation.
Cataracts typically form slowly over time and are usually not painful. Some of the common symptoms of this disorder include increasing glare, hazy distance vision, progressive nearsightedness, difficulty reading, and contrast sensitivity.
Cataracts are one of the most prevalent age-related eye disease as age is by far the primary risk factor associated with cataracts. Another important risk factor is gender. Women are more likely to develop cataracts compared to men. Family history also plays a big role in the development of this disease. If an elderly person comes from a family with a history of cataracts, he/she is likely to develop the same disease. Race and ethnicity is another important risk factor. In general, African-Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop lens cloudiness. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, smoking and alcohol abuse, autoimmune diseases, as well as use of drugs such as corticosteroids. It is worth noting that senior citizens tend to use corticosteroids to treat and manage medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
To diagnose this eye disease, a patient typically undertakes a series of eye exams including reading the Snellen Eye Chart, glare sensitivity tests, and macular function tests.
Treatment of Cataracts
In most cases, patients opt for surgical intervention. However, this approach could cause complications, especially among senior citizens living with serious medical conditions. Since surgery generally involves the removal of the clouded lens, replacement lenses or glasses are necessary. According to the New York Times, cataract surgery is the most common and popular cataract treatment for people 65 years and older. Fortunately, this type of surgery can improve vision in the elderly by as much as 95%. Although it is virtually impossible to prevent the development of cataracts, one can take certain steps to slow their formation. Such steps include eating vitamin-rich foods, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, and losing excess weight.
Who is a good candidate for cataract surgery?
People with significant visual loss affecting daily activities may be good candidates for cataract surgery.
Preparation before cataract surgery?
Cannot eat or drink for 8 hours before surgery.
What is experienced during cataract surgery itself?
Almost all cataract surgeries are done under local anesthetic so there is no significant pain during the procedure.
After procedure care and expectations?
Post-operative medications are one antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. The patient leaves with an eye patch which comes off within hours. Most people need a few days to a few weeks to reach optimal vision recovery.
Learn More about Cataract Surgery
In conclusion, cataracts tend to affect the elderly. Some of the common symptoms of this eye disorder include sensitivity to bright lights, hazy distance vision, and contrast sensitivity. Senior citizens who come from families with history of cataracts are likely to develop the same. Other risk factors include obesity, alcohol abuse and smoking, diabetes, and gender. The most common treatment option is surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one. For more information, please contact Fort Worth laser eye surgeon Dr. Thomas Marvelli today!