Cataracts: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatments

Blurry, foggy, cloudy, or even double vision at any distance are common symptoms of cataracts, which is a clouding of the usually transparent lens of the eye. When cataracts are small, symptoms tend to be mild or only appear in certain situations. People who wear corrective lenses like contacts or eyeglasses may mistake these inconsistent early warning signs as a change in vision or chalk it up to being tired. 

But it’s important to talk to an experienced ophthalmologist about any changes in your vision because over time, as the cataract worsens and less light reaches the retina, it becomes harder to see. 

If you develop sudden changes, like double vision or flashes of light, eye pain, or headaches, visit Eye Specialists of Louisiana for a comprehensive eye exam right away. We can help protect your vision and keep it from getting worse.

Cataract Risk Factors

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss worldwide among people over 40 and account for approximately 42% of all cases of blindness. Cataracts have many causes like genetic disorders, certain medications, or medical issues. However, most develop them as a result of injury or advanced age. Common risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye injury, inflammation, or surgery
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Common Signs and Symptoms of Cataract

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurred, clouded, or dim vision
  • Double vision in one or both eyes
  • Increased difficulty seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Need for more light when reading or doing other close activities
  • Frequent changes in your corrective lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

How Can I Protect My Eyes From Cataracts?

While there is no proven way to prevent or slow the progression of a cataract, the ophthalmologists at Eye Specialists of Louisiana recommend the following strategies:

  • Get regular eye exams
    A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to find eye diseases early when treatment to prevent further damage or vision loss is most effective.
  • Manage diabetes
    People with diabetes with unchecked glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in their eyes, which increases the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions.
  • Eat healthy foods
    Eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and leafy green because they help maintain the health of your eyes. Also, omega-3 fatty acids (found in many types of fish) reduce the risk of cataract development and progression.
  • Wear sunglasses
    Years of exposure to harmful UVA and UVB sun rays cause the protein in the eye lens to clump and thicken (cataract). Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection.
  • Quit smoking
    Smoking increases pressure inside the eye, alters the cells of the lens through oxidation, and leads to an accumulation of heavy metals in the lens, which can accelerate a cataract.
  • Reduce alcohol use
    Alcohol consumption increases the number of free radicals in your body, leading to increased protein in the lens of the eye.

What is the treatment for cataracts?

Eye Specialists of Louisiana specializes in the following treatments:

  • Dropless cataract surgery
    Dropless cataract surgery is the most convenient and advanced technique in surgical eye care today. It consists of a one-time dose of all the medicine the eye needs at the time of the surgery, eliminating the need for weeks of post-surgery eye drops.
  • LenSx cataract surgery
    Unlike a traditional (manual) cataract surgery, the LenSx laser uses a light beam to create precise, repeatable incisions. This helps improve refractive outcomes. It can also be combined with dropless cataract surgery.

Protect your vision and alleviate symptoms of cataracts with leading-edge treatment options from Eye Specialists of Louisiana. Our team of board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and licensed opticians offers the most advanced techniques and technologies for vision correction. For more information, please call 255-768-7777.