Aging has been known to change our bodies significantly. We see wrinkles, age spots, feel our joints creak and start to notice our vision is not as good as it used to be. There are several reasons one might experience a decrease in quality vision, but by far the most common is cataract development. Cataracts are one of the most common visual conditions in New Jersey. Cataracts are a leading cause of preventable blindness around the world.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts, which generally start to develop after a patient’s 40s, are caused by a build-up of protein on the natural lens behind the pupil. The natural lens, normally crystal clear and flexible, allows light into the eye and focuses it onto the retina. As cataracts develop, they cause the lens to become more opaque, letting in less light as they progress. This leads to a decrease in vision, and eventually, blindness.
What are the Symptoms?
Cataracts are not generally noticeable at first, and will usually be diagnosed by your eye doctor before you experience any significant changes in your vision. As cataracts develop, you will notice a steady decrease in visual quality. Blurriness, distorted vision, discoloration, difficulty seeing at night, glare and haloes are all common symptoms of cataract development.
How can I Prevent Cataracts?
There is no known cause of cataracts, though there are some things that may contribute. This makes it difficult to find ways to prevent cataracts. While there is no known way to prevent cataracts, leading a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and wearing sunglasses outside may help. Quitting smoking may also help prevent cataracts.
What are the Treatments?
Currently, cataracts are only treated through surgery. Cataract surgery is extremely advanced and safe. Long gone are the days of lengthy hospital stays after cataract surgery. Cataracts patients are now able to go home the same day, and experience an almost immediate improvement in vision. Cataract surgery is extremely effective in correcting cataracts.
Cataract surgery begins with your eye doctor numbing your eye. Once your eye is prepared for surgery, your New Jersey cataract surgeon will make a series of tiny incisions in the cornea. Through these incisions, your surgeon will use a tiny surgical device to break up the cataracts affected lens for easy removal. Once the cataract is removed, your surgeon will replace the old lens with a new, intraocular lens (IOL). This new lens allows you to see clearly. Once the IOL is in place, the surgery is over!
If you would like to hear more about cataract surgery, or if you suspect that you have cataracts, be sure to set up an appointment with Freehold Ophthalmology! Located in Freehold, Toms River and Brick, New Jersey.