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Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and are the most common eye condition in people over the age of 40. However, most people do not know a lot about them. Here at our optometry clinic in Maple Ridge, BC, we know that part of taking care of your eyes is knowing about common conditions such as cataracts. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions that our Maple Ridge optometrist receives about cataracts.
A. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the eye. There are multiple types of cataracts which occur in different parts of the lens, but they all involve the same general region. Cataracts are common in people of all ethnicities and in both men and women.
A. The majority of cataracts are caused by aging. Aging appears to cause changes in the proteins in the lens, allowing them to clump together and become opaque instead of being clear as usual. There are also risk factors for cataracts that are not related to aging, which include:
Some cataracts may be able to be prevented by taking steps to avoid exposure to these items, such as always wearing sunglasses in the sun and avoiding cigarette use. Eating a diet high in certain vegetable compounds may also prevent the formation of some age-related cataracts. However, there is no one clear cause of cataracts, so it is only possible to reduce your risk of developing them.
A. Blurred vision is often the first symptom of cataracts. Changes in how you perceive lights and colors may also occur. This may include lights that used to be fine now seeming too bright, and colors appearing washed out. However, these symptoms can occur with other eye diseases as well, so it is important to get an eye exam from a licensed optometrist at the first sign of trouble.
A. At first, the blurriness caused by cataracts may be able to be compensated for with corrective lenses. Changing the lighting, wearing tinted lenses when there is glare, and using reading glasses will often make the situation improve for some time. However, cataract surgery performed by an ophthalmologist is the only way to actually cure the condition. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. It is extremely successful, with 9 out of 10 people seeing 20/40 or better after surgery.
Here at Maple Ridge Eye Care, we provide vision exams to patients with and without all sorts of eye diseases. Whether you are worried about changes in your vision or just have not been to the optometrist in a while, we can help. Call 604-463-4469 to schedule your eye exam with our eye doctor in Maple Ridge, BC today.