Cataracts affect over half of Americans over the age of 80, and are one of the most common causes of vision problems. Most people will experience cataracts to some extent as they age, but certain people are more at risk than others.
Risk factors for cataracts include:
- Age: While middle aged men and women can develop cataracts, they tend to be small and don't interfere with vision too badly. However, those aged 60 and up are at worse risk for developing severe vision problems due to cataracts.
- Eye injury: Injuries to the eye or previous eye surgery can be a risk factor for developing cataracts.
- A family history of cataracts: If your parents or grandparents had cataracts, it's likely that you'll develop them too.
- Excessive sun exposure to the eyes: UV rays can play a part in the development of cataracts. If you go out in the sun a lot without wearing sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes, you'll be at a higher risk for developing cataracts.
- Diabetes: A high glycemic index is a major risk factor for cataracts, and diabetics are highly likely to develop so-called "sugar cataracts."
- Smoking and alcohol abuse: Smoking can double the risk of developing nuclear cataracts, which impact vision more severely than other types. Alcohol abuse raises the risk of developing a number of different eye diseases, including cataracts.
As cataracts are so common, it's important to get your eyes checked at least once a year, especially as you get older. Cataracts are progressive, and if caught early enough, the progression can be slowed or halted. If left untreated, cataracts will cause increasingly blurry vision, color loss, and eventually blindness.
Treatment Options for Cataracts
Luckily, there are effective cataract treatments available. When caught early, cataract symptoms can often be treated through simple means such as adjusting your eyeglass prescription or using anti-glare lenses.
However, as cataracts progress, eventually you may need cataract surgery. Dr. Chris Walton uses the LenSx laser system to safely and effectively treat cataracts. This laser treatment offers a better outcome and faster recovery time than other cataract surgery options.
Cataract surgery involves replacing your eye's natural lens with an artificial one in order to restore clear vision. This intraocular lens eliminates cataracts and can also correct your vision, so that you don't need glasses after surgery.
Schedule Your Cataracts Surgery Consultation
If you have begun to develop cataracts, talk to Dr. Walton about your treatment options. Schedule your free cataracts treatment consultation by calling 251-341-3385 today. We serve patients in Mobile, Alabama, and nearby Gulf Coast areas.