Cataracts—cloudy areas on the lens inside the eye—can affect people of all ages, but are most common in older adults. And while some risk factors for cataracts are avoidable, cataracts can't always be prevented. If you or a loved one has signs or symptoms of cataracts, our Columbia optometrist can help. Read on to learn more.
Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts
The lens inside the eye is normally clear and helps light focus on the light-sensitive tissues in the back of the eye. A cataract develops when protein fibers in the lens change shape, which can cause part of the lens to become cloudy. If the cataract becomes large enough to obstruct light, an individual may notice signs and symptoms such as:
- Blurry vision
- Impaired nighttime vision
- Colors start to look faded
- Double vision
- "Halos" around bright lights
- Increased sensitivity to bright lights
- Frequent need to update prescription eyewear
A person may have a cataract in one or both eyes for years before noticing any signs or symptoms. This is one reason why regular visits to a trusted eye doctor are so important! Through early screening and diagnosis, our optometrist in Columbia can help you maintain optimal vision as you age.
Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts can develop as a result of normal age-related changes in lens tissue health. We also know that certain factors may increase a person's risk of developing cataracts, including:
- A history of eye surgery or trauma
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Excessive sun exposure
- The use of certain medications, such as steroids
- Other underlying health conditions, including diabetes and glaucoma
- Family history
You can take steps today to protect your eye health and reduce your risk of cataracts, such as by maintaining a healthy diet, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses in the sun, and never smoking.
Cataracts Diagnosis and Treatment
Serving Forest Acres and other communities in the greater Columbia area, our optometrist can diagnose cataracts on a dilated eye exam. If your cataracts become large enough to impair vision, you may be able to have surgery to remove the damaged lens and replace it with an artificial lens. Our optometrist offers essential support before and after cataract removal surgery to help your recovery go smoothly.
We also help people with cataracts manage their vision in other ways, such as by providing:
- Up-to-date prescription eyewear
- Low vision strategies, such as large print modifications and magnifying lenses
Are You Interested in a Cataract Screening in Columbia, SC?
Call (803) 782-7080 to schedule an appointment with Columbia optometrist Dr. Benjamin Ingram or to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one with cataracts.