What Everyone Should Know About Cataracts

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.

Risk Factors

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.

Symptoms

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.

Treatment

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.

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