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Cataracts are so common that more than half of all 80-year-olds in the U.S. have to contend with them. But in the case of this pervasive problem, familiarity definitely breeds contempt. This progressive opacity of the lens of the eye can cause serious vision loss and even lead to total blindness if it is allowed to go undiagnosed and untreated -- and yet even advanced cataracts can be replaced surgically to restore clear vision. Here at Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry, our eye care team can check for cataracts, advise you of your treatment and self-care options and perform co-management in cases of corrective surgery.
A cataract is like a milky-white "cloud" that forms within the eye's lens, blocking or distorting the passage of incoming light. The lens's proteins are normally arranged so that they don't interfere with this transparency. Sometimes, however, they can begin to clump together into an opaque formation known as a cataract. Most cataracts develop very slowly and cause minimal vision issues at first. As they progress, you may start to see odd sunburst patterns or halos around bright lights. Your night vision may get progressively worse, images may become blurry, and you may become overly sensitive to glare. You may even lose some of your ability to see colors in their former vividness.
Some cataracts are the product of medications such as corticosteroids, abuse of tobacco and alcohol, intense exposure to UV rays or systemic diseases that affect the eye such as diabetes. But most cataracts are simply the result of aging.
An annual eye exam is always a great starting place in your battle against cataracts. A typical eye exam includes eye health diagnostics using tools such as a slit lamp. This combination of microscope and bright light enables us to get a detailed look at the lens for any signs of cataract formation, while retinoscopy shows us how successfully light is making its way to the retina. Vision testing is another important step that helps us understand how fast a cataract may be growing and what it's doing to your visual acuity. If we see a problem, we can then discuss your Las Vegas cataract treatment options.
Early cataracts may not call for any medical intervention beyond updating your corrective lens prescription. "Watchful waiting" via a regular eye exam is adequate for a cataract that may take many years to grow into a serious threat to your eyesight. In the meantime, we can advise eye care best practices such as always wearing sunglasses, controlling diabetes and other diseases, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. When it's time to get the cataract removed, your Las Vegas optometrist can provide pre-operative and post-operative support for a quick, easy outpatient procedure to restore your visual clarity.
Call 702-341-7254 today to schedule your next eye exam with a Las Vegas optometrist on our team!