When many people think about the impact of conditions like obesity, diabetes,
and hypertension, they focus on complications that require
emergency care, like heart attacks and strokes. Although cataracts don’t often
need emergency care, they can slowly rob patients of their vision, particularly
patients with those same medical conditions. By learning more about the
risk factors, symptoms, and treatments of cataracts, everyone can take
steps to protect their vision. Here is what you need to know.
Age is a significant risk factor for cataracts, and in some cases, people
without any other complications develop cataracts as they age. Cataracts
are also common in people who are likely to need cardiac care as well
because of hypertension and obesity. Diabetes, hormone replacement therapy,
alcohol abuse, and UV exposure can all also contribute to cataracts. If
you have had a previous eye surgery, take corticosteroids or statins,
or have a family history of cataracts, your doctor may want to monitor
you more closely.
The first symptom most people have when they develop a cataract is blurred
vision. The change may be minor at first but will worsen over time as
the cataract grows. People also experience more glare when looking at
the sun, a lamp, or headlights. In some cases, depending on where the
cataract develops, people have a sudden improvement in their near vision
that then gets worse again as the cataract grows. Occasionally, cataracts
can be asymptomatic, so regular eye exams are important.
Initially, cataract symptoms can be managed with new glasses, bifocal,
or magnification. However, surgery is recommended for most patients. During
cataract surgery, the diseased lens is removed and replaced with a plastic
lens called an IOL, or intraocular lens. After surgery, patients typically
enjoy dramatically improved vision.
Whether you need help managing conditions that contribute to cataracts
or a provider who can help with your symptoms, choose Good Samaritan Hospital.
We are a labor and delivery hospital in San Jose, a
robotic surgery provider, a cardiac care hospital, and much more. For referrals and additional
hospital information, call (888) 724-2362.