Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of your eyes that gradually form. They may not be noticeable at the beginning, but over time they can make your vision blurry. Cataracts develop when becoming older because the protective mechanism of your eyes against oxidative stress from the sun’s radiation or harmful chemicals becomes less efficient.
You will need your doctor to check the following components of your medical history to determine whether you have cataracts:
Your doctor will need to examine how well you can see at the moment and check if there have been recent changes in your vision. Also, your doctor checks if there are members of your family who have had similar challenges in the past.
Your doctor also checks your overall health and the kind of medications you have been taking in the recent past. After this, your doctor will need to inquire whether there are hereditary diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, within the family.
After this, your doctor may need to conduct several tests including:
A slit lamp is a microscope with a high-intensity light source that focuses light into the eye to look for injuries or diseases. The eye doctor will use the high-intensity light to focus on the structures of your front eye. The slit lamp’s high-intensity light will illuminate small sections of your eyes making it easier to detect abnormalities.
Your doctor will then ask you to read letters of varying sizes from a chart one eye at a time while the other is covered. The visual acuity test will measure your quality of vision at varying distances. The test is quick and painless and will help determine if you have 20/20 vision or signs of impairment.
The last test will be the retinal exam where the doctor will put a few drops from an eyedrop in your eyes to dilate your pupil. The pupil’s increase in size will offer a view into your entire lens making it easier for the doctor to determine whether a cataract is affecting your vision or not.
Once you have a cataract diagnosis, your eye doctor will explain the extent of the disease and the effect on your eyes. If it hasn’t worsened yet, then you should consider wearing sunglasses to block UV light from the sun and quitting smoke, if you do, because it is a key factor that contributes to cataracts formation. But if it has worsened, you should consider cataracts surgery.
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and involves the use of a high-frequency ultrasound that breaks the cloudy lens into pieces that are then removed gently from your eye with suction. Your eye doctor will then insert an intraocular lens behind your pupil and iris and close the incision of your eye. After the procedure, your eye doctor will prescribe eye drops and other medications that help reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Within eight weeks, you will be completely healed.
If cataracts are making it harder for you to do simple daily tasks, you should consider visiting Okaloosa Eye Care for a comprehensive eye exam. If you have any questions about the available cataracts treatments, do not hesitate to speak to our dedicated professional team in Crestview, Florida, or reach out to us today at (850)-608-0003 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.