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What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is a painless clouding of the lens in your eye that can negatively affect your vision. Cataracts are most common in older people; more than 50 percent of the population aged 80 years or above suffers from cataracts.

Can Cataracts Make You Go Blind?

Cataracts can influence your ability to see in two ways:

1. Your lens is predominantly made of protein and water. The lens becomes clouded when this protein clumps up and reduces the amount of light reaching the retina. This increase in protein greatly reduces the sharpness of the image reaching the retina, potentially progressing to blurred vision. The majority of age related cataracts are due to accretion of proteins.

2. The clarity of the lens can also be compromised by a brownish or yellowish coloring, which adds a kind of brownish tint to the vision. At first, the quantity of tinting is small and will not cause any vision problems. However, with the progress of time, the increase in tint can make it harder to read. Routine activities turn out to be difficult, like distinguishing between colors and matching clothes. This slow change in tinting may also affect the sharpness of an image transmitted to the retina.

Correcting Cataracts

The early stage symptoms of cataracts can be somewhat alleviated with new eyeglasses, anti-glare sunglasses, magnifying lenses or brighter lighting. If these measures prove to be insufficient, surgery remains the only option. This surgery involves the removal of the cloudy lens and substituting it with an artificial lens.

Cataract surgery should only be considered in the case of loss of vision interfering with daily activities, like watching television, driving or reading. The procedure can also be necessary if your cataract interferes with the examination or the treatment of another ocular problem, like diabetic retinopathy. There is no best time to undergo cataracts surgery. If surgery is the right treatment option for your cataracts, you and your doctor can decide to have the surgery at a time that best suits you.

The Vision Source North Carolina eye care professionals are equipped with the knowledge and latest technology to correct cataracts at all stages of development, from mild to severe cases. Consult with your local Vision Source North Carolina doctor to learn more about your treatment options for cataracts.