You might recognize cataracts as the culprit of cloudy-looking eyes. Unfortunately, it’s not just eyes that look cloudy. Cataracts cause blurry, cloudy vision that can compromise clear sight.
Our team of optometrists 一 Nicanor Lacsina, OD, and Yelena Pinkhasova, OD 一 wants you to know that cataracts are common, but they don’t have to sentence you to a life shrouded in cloudiness.
Below, we shed light on the telltale signs of cataracts and how we treat them here at Bainbridge Eye Care in Bronx, New York.
What is a cataract?
Your lens plays an important role in your ability to see clearly. Your lens 一 a clear part of your inner eye 一 works with your cornea to focus light on your retina. Once the light hits your retina, special cells (photoreceptors) send messages to your optic nerve, where your brain turns those signals into what we perceive as images.
Unfortunately, cataracts can impede this entire process and cause blurry vision. Cataracts happen when your normally clear lens becomes blurry. Looking through a cloudy lens can make it harder to read, dangerous to drive, and difficult to perceive facial expressions when talking to others. Cataracts form as a result of aging or injury. As you age, the proteins in your lens start to break down and clump together, leading to noticeable cloudiness.
Recognizing the early signs of cataracts
At first, the protein and fiber breakdown in the lens may only affect one part of your lens, and you might not notice any changes to your vision. Over time; however, you might notice the following signs of cataracts:
- Cloudy or dim vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased difficulty driving at night
- Seeing “halos” of light
- More frequent changes to your prescription
- Muted colors
- Double vision
If you notice sudden changes, including bright flashes, eye pain, or a sudden headache, seek medical intervention right away. These can be symptoms of other serious conditions.
Why early treatment for cataracts matters
Left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. In fact, it’s the leading cause of blindness in the world and accounts for 50% of blindness diagnoses. The good news is that blindness caused by cataracts is preventable with early intervention. With more than 20 years of experience treating cataracts, our team is ready to help you, whether you need to slow the cataract growth or if you’re ready to replace your lens.
Conservative treatment options include wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, staying current with routine eye exams, and wearing eyeglasses. Smoking cessation can also help improve your eye health.
If conservative treatments aren’t enough, Dr. Lacsina or Dr. Pinkhasova may suggest cataract removal. During cataract surgery, your cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens, or IOL. IOLs are made of silicone, acrylic, or plastic, and they don’t just replace your cloudy lens. They can also correct vision problems. Specialty lenses can correct your distance vision, near vision, and even astigmatism.
Don’t let cataracts steal your vision
With over 16 years of experience, Dr. Lacsina is an expert when it comes to early cataract detection, monitoring, and treatment recommendations tailored to fit your needs. If you’ve spotted the early signs of cataracts, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our Bronx, New York office today.
Questions about cataracts or an upcoming appointment? Feel free to drop us a line.