Cataracts

Valdez Eye Center

Eye Physician & Surgeons located in Apple Valley, CA

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision problems and affect many older men and women. It’s impossible to prevent cataracts from forming, but they’re easy to treat. The team of expert ophthalmologists at Valdez Eye Center in Apple Valley, California, can help you adapt to early-stage cataracts and remove them by quick, safe, effective surgery. If you’re experiencing blurry, cloudy vision, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.

Cataracts Q & A

How do cataracts affect your vision?

Your eyes have lenses that function just like camera lenses. They focus light allowing you to see things clearly both up close and far away. Cataracts cause these lenses to go “out of focus,” causing your vision to become blurry, foggy, or cloudy.

Cataracts can make reading and watching television difficult. You’ll struggle to drive at night and notice that lights have halos around them. People with untreated cataracts often find the world looks less bright or vivid than it once did.

Cataracts usually affect people 60 and older. However, younger people can develop cataracts if they have a history of eye injuries or certain genetic conditions that affect the eyes. Most people have cataracts in both eyes, but one cataract can be more advanced than the other.

What causes cataracts to form?

The lenses in your eyes are made up of water and protein. In healthy eyes, these proteins are precisely arranged so you can see clearly. As you get older, these proteins can form clumps, blocking light from reaching your retinas, resulting in blurred vision and giving your eyes a cloudy appearance.

When your vision becomes cloudy from a cataract, it’s because the clump of protein is directly blocking your vision. You’re seeing the protein rather than what’s beyond it.

Cataracts develop gradually. In their early stages, you might not realize they’re there, because they only cover a tiny part of your eye and you can adjust. Cataracts become a problem when they grow too large to ignore or adapt to.

Doctors and researchers don’t know exactly what causes the proteins in your eyes to break down and clump together as you age, so there’s no clear-cut way to prevent cataracts. But regular eye exams at Valdez Eye Center, including cataract screenings, can ensure you catch cataracts in their early stages and get the treatment you need.

How are cataracts treated?

Surgery is the only way cataracts can be removed. However, if your cataract is still small, you might not need surgery right away. Often, you can adapt to early-stage cataracts by:

  • Making sure your corrective lens prescription is up to date and wearing progressive lenses, which allow you to see clearly at all distances
  • Wearing lenses that reduce glare during night driving
  • Improving the lighting in your home

Your ophthalmologist closely monitors the size of your cataract. If you’re having a difficult time seeing and completing everyday activities because of cataracts, your ophthalmologist will then recommend surgery.

Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens from your eye and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. It’s a quick, safe, effective procedure performed under a local anesthetic.

To get a diagnosis and to learn more about cataract treatments, schedule an appointment at Valdez Eye Center online or over the phone.