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Our Gahanna and Columbus Optometrists at Berk Eye Care Center Provide Eye Care for Cataracts
Cataracts develop when proteins start to clump abnormally within the eye's lens to form a yellowish, opaque film that interferes with your vision. Reasons why cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions diagnosed by eye doctors in the U.S. include aging, years of exposing the eyes to ultraviolet radiation without protection, having diabetes and smoking. Although the lens of the eye naturally denatures over time, factors other than aging are known to accelerate development of cataracts.
Cataracts diagnosed in children or adolescents are almost always the result of the child having some kind of chromosomal abnormality, such as mytonic dystrophy and Down syndrome.
How Early Can Eye Doctors Diagnose Cataracts?
Our Columbus and Gahanna optometrists strongly recommend anyone over 40 have dilated eye exams every two years. If you have family members with glaucoma or are African-American, eye doctors suggest you should have dilated eye exams once every year starting at age 35. Although the only cataract treatment available is surgical removal of cataracts, learning you have the beginnings of cataracts may help you make appropriate lifestyle changes to delay progression of cataracts.
Possible Symptoms of Cataracts
Like glaucoma, cataracts do not present symptoms until they are in a more advanced stage of development. If you haven't visited your optometry center for an eyes vision examination, the following symptoms may indicate the presence of cataracts:
- Increasing sensitivity to light (your eyes may tear excessively or burn when exposed to bright lights)
- Decreasing ability to see at night, especially when driving in traffic (headlights may cause halos and "blind" spots)
- Clouding or dimming of vision
- Fading or darkening of colors (people with cataracts may think they have suddenly become color-blind)
Cataracts remain virtually invisible until they thicken considerably and cause extreme vision impairment. Failing to treat cataracts can cause permanent blindness.
How Our Eye Doctors at Our Optometry Clinics Diagnose Cataracts
Our optometrists at Berk Eye Care Center in Columbus and Gahanna perform a visual field tests to determine peripheral vision ability. They will also test how well you can detect brief light flashes appearing in the four quadrants comprising your visual field. Additionally, our optometrists evaluate your overall eye health using a slit lamp to look for opacities on the lens and an ophthalmoscope during dilated eye exams.
Our eye doctors looking for evidence of cataracts may also test fluid pressure within the eyes using tonometry, a technique measuring intraocular pressure by detecting corneal resistance to pressure. Noncontact tonometry is one of the most commonly performed tonometry procedure that involves optometrists testing corneal resistance with a puff of air. Normal pressure readings range from 12 mmHg to 22 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). A reading above 22 mmHg could indicate the onset of glaucoma.
Cataract Treatment Options Available for the Surrounding Communities of Columbus and Gahanna
When cataracts start to interfere with your daily activities, surgery is recommended to remove cataracts by replacing the lens with an artificial intraocular lens. One of the most common eye treatments preformed, cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure requiring no hospital stay. Recovery time is minimal and results will provide restoration of clearer vision.
Made of acrylic or silicone, intraocular lenses are also coated with special materials to protect eyes from UV rays. Three kinds of IOLs are available to replace cataract-damaged lenses: monofocal, multifocal and accommodative. Monofocal IOLs offer a single focusing distance and multifocal IOLs provide near and distance focusing powers. Accommodative IOLs change shape or move within the eye to permit focusing at various distances.
To schedule an appointment with our optometrists for a comprehensive eye exam including cataract testing, please call Berk Eye Center today: