Taking the Right Approach to Cataracts
Cloudy, blurred vision that is caused by thickening and stiffening of the eye's lens is referred to as a cataract. Technically, cataracts are deposits of protein that accumulate over time. As buildup worsens, so does vision. Ultimately, there is the potential for vision loss. Long before that time, however, the consequences of cataracts can be reversed with a precision removal surgery. Cataract removal surgery essentially replaces the unhealthy lens with a synthetic intraocular lens that facilitates clear, crisp vision.
It is good news that cataracts can be removed and replaced. Still, most patients with this condition tend to take a "wait and see" approach to the management of their eyesight. While we do not take it upon ourselves to decide for any patient when he or she should have cataracts removed (aside, perhaps, from imminent blindness), we can offer a few insights that may help you determine what is best for you.
- Intervention with professional care such as prescription eyeglasses, with anti-glare glasses, or with lifestyle habits such as increased lighting in the home no longer mitigates the symptoms of cataracts.
- The "get up and go" that you once had has diminished. We are living longer and we are maintaining more active lifestyles than previous generations. Many older adults are staying engaged in sports and other outdoor activities like biking, hiking, kayaking, and other pastimes. If vision isn't clear, the physical performance of such activities could be negatively affected.
- Your world seems smaller. There are so many things that older adults can continue to do if they can see and feel confident getting out and about. We often consult with patients who say that their impaired vision is keeping them from doing the gardening they would like, or from taking evening walks with friends or loved ones. Quality of life is crucial at every stage, and should not be diminished by cataracts.
- Your independence feels like it's slipping away. Vision problems in older adults are not isolated; they can lead to consequences that ultimately pose a threat to safety. When cataracts cause severe clouding or blurriness, it can be difficult to drive. The risk of falls also increases substantially in individuals whose vision is not clear.
Learn how to manage eye health and conditions such as cataracts. Call Pasadena Eye Associates.