As people age, it is not uncommon for their vision to no longer be as clear as it once was. This may be a sign that a person needs glasses, or it could also mean that cataracts have grown over the lenses of the eyes. If a person's vision has gradually gotten worse, it is important to know what to do. These are some steps to take if you think you may have cataracts.
Know the Symptoms
The symptoms are often different when you need glasses and when you may have cataracts. If you now need glasses due to aging, you may notice that you have to get closer to certain things in order to see them. You may also need books with a larger print when reading. However, your vision may make things look cloudy or blurred if cataracts are present. If this problem is not treated, it will eventually get much worse and blindness may even occur.
See Your Optometrist
At the first sign of vision problems, it is very important that you make an appointment with an optometrist. The optometrist can examine your eyes and determine if you need glasses or if you have cataracts. If glasses will correct the problem, the optometrist can make your glasses with a specific prescription for your vision needs. Once you have received your glasses, you should notice a great improvement in your vision right away.
If the optometrist believes you do in fact have cataracts, he will most likely refer you to an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist will also examine your eyes to determine how severe your condition is. In some cases, cataracts may only decrease the vision mildly. However, if surgery to remove the cataracts is necessary, the ophthalmologist will advise you of this and schedule a time for the procedure to be performed.
Having the Surgery
In the past, cataract surgery was done by making small incisions at the corners of the cataract and then removing it from the lens it is covering. However, most cataract surgeries are done by laser treatments today. The heat from the laser light detaches the cataracts from the eyes so they can be removed. Then the laser is also used to seal the area around the lens to prevent bacteria from getting into the eye and causing an infection. This method is done more quickly and results in faster healing and less pain for the patient.
Laser cataract surgery is normally performed as an outpatient surgery. If the patient has cataracts in both eyes, the removal of cataracts is done one eye at a time with at least a week in between surgeries. This allows the patient to have good vision in one eye before surgery begins on the other eye. Many people have found that having laser cataract surgery improves the vision so much that they no longer need to wear reading glasses.
For more information about eye health, contact an eye doctor like those at Cohen's Fashion Optical.