Diagnosing and Care for Cataracts

Diagnosing and Care for Cataracts

Diagnosing and Care for Cataracts

Like many other parts of the body, the eyes naturally change over time. However, some changes can affect your quality of life if left untreated. Proteins in the lens clump together in larger and larger areas and eventually obstruct vision. Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness worldwide.

Cataracts happen when the lens of the eye clouds. Many people do not realize at first that they are developing cataracts. Eventually, they may notice that their vision appears blurry. Patients often describe it as looking at the world around them through a foggy window. If the cataract progresses, others may be able to see a difference between an eye with a cataract and an eye that is clear.


What Causes a Cataract

Anyone at any age can develop a cataract. However, it is much more common for older people to develop cataracts. Many things cause cataracts to develop, including infection or certain treatments for other diseases.

Sometimes, cataract development indicates to doctors that something else is going on in the body. Once a doctor diagnoses cataracts, they will also most likely discuss other health symptoms and may suggest running other tests. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes but not always evenly. The doctor will run tests to determine how advanced the cataracts are.


How Cataracts Are Diagnosed

It is very important that patients discuss medical history with the eye doctor, as this will help the doctor to correctly diagnose cataracts. Age is also a factor in proper diagnosis.

The doctor uses several tests to confirm his or her diagnosis of cataracts, including:

  • A specialized microscope called a slit lamp that helps the doctor to examine small sections of the lens for anything unusual.
  • A visual acuity test. The doctor will use an eye chart to test the patient’s ability to read the symbols from a distance.
  • Retinal exams use slit lamps or ophthalmoscopes to examine the patient’s eye. Special drops dilate the pupil to make it easier to examine.


Caring for Cataracts

The doctor and the patient can work out the best plan for care together. The plan of care differs based on the person’s health, age, and needs. When cataracts are small, people can make simple changes to their habits, such as using bright lights. Using sunglasses and updating prescription glasses or contacts helps.

Depending on several factors, a doctor may decide that surgery is the best treatment. There is no way to repair a person’s lens that is damaged by a cataract. The doctor removes the damaged lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. If cataracts interfere with everyday life, then surgery may be the best option.


Healthy Eyes for Life

The eye doctor is an important resource for long-term eye health. He or she can help you monitor your eyes with regular exams. If you have cataracts, your eye doctor will work with you to develop the care plan that is best for you.

To take charge of your eye health today, contact the doctors at West Texas Eye Care. We have two locations to serve you in Fort Stockton and Pecos, Texas. Call us at (432) 336-3662 or (432) 445-3662 to schedule your appointment.

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