What are Cataracts?
Generally, cataracts are an age-related eye condition that involves the lens of the eye becoming cloudy or opaque over time. If they lived long enough, almost everyone would develop cataracts.
There is a strong correlation between radiation exposure (including UV radiation) and development of cataracts. In fact, 33 of the 36 astronauts involved in the Apollo missions developed early stage cataracts that were directly linked to the high levels of radiation that they were exposed to in space (there is, of course, no atmosphere to filter out harmful radiation from the sun up in outer space!).
What causes Cataracts?
There are many other causes of cataracts, including iodine deficiency, eye trauma, and certain medications. Genes can also play a role, and may factor into a cataract developing earlier than normal.
What are the symptoms of Cataracts?
Symptoms of cataracts include decreased or cloudy vision, lots of glare from lights, and an absent red reflex (hey, the plus is that you don't get red-eye in photos!).
How are Cataracts treated?
Cataracts are removed by fairly simple and common outpatient surgery procedure. The old, cloudy lens is removed, and a new, clear Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) is put back in it's place. Many times, the IOL can correct for any distance prescription that the patient may have, reducing or even eliminating a patient's need for glasses to see far away. There are even multi-focal IOL's that allow a patient to focus on both near and far objects, just like a multi-focal contact lens.
Think you might have Cataracts or some other problem with your eyes? Call us today for an eye exam at 775-787-3939!