Cataracts are one of the most common causes of blurry vision for those over the age of forty, but they are also treatable. While only your eye doctor can truly diagnose whether you have a cataract, there are some common symptoms that you should be aware of.
Keep reading to learn the most common symptoms of cataracts!
Cataracts develop as your eyes age. When a cataract forms, the clear lens in your eye starts to harden naturally, making everything appear yellowish.
It can become difficult for you to focus and see clearly with a cataract. Your vision may seem blurry or cloudy, and colors tend to dull over time.
You may notice a sensitivity to bright lights and, at the same time, find that you need an even brighter light to focus on something. If left untreated, cataracts can significantly diminish your sight.
Once your cataract surgeon removes the cataract and replaces it with an artificial lens, your vision will be clear once again. Most people will develop cataracts by the time they turn eighty.
However, some people will develop cataracts much earlier than that. Diet, lifestyle, medications, and hereditary conditions can cause a cataract to form on much younger eyes.
Those with uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, eye injuries, excessive exposure to the sun, or frequent smokers may be at a higher risk.
Depending on each person, symptoms may vary. Some people may have cataracts but do not notice any symptoms, while others may experience all symptoms at once.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of cataracts:
When you have a cataract, your vision may seem cloudy, colors faded and almost yellowish. You may also notice difficulty seeing things in dim lighting.
Many people with cataracts struggle to read at night without additional light. You may also notice that you feel like you need to have your glasses prescription updated more frequently.
In some cases, your vision may even seem distorted or irregular.
Another common symptom of cataracts is glare from light sources. Many people first notice this symptom when driving at night, when bright headlights make driving difficult.
You may also notice haloes or starbursts around light sources. Glare can make everyday activities much more challenging.
Double vision can also be a symptom of cataracts. Sometimes this double vision may come in the form of a ghosting or shadowing of an image.
When the lens is cloudy and unable to reflect the light properly, what you see may be fragmented into multiple incomplete, duplicate images. When you look at something, you see more than one image as your eye struggles to make a complete picture.
Reading can be difficult when you have double-vision. You may adapt to this by closing one eye and focusing on the other.
The only way to completely restore vision changes from cataracts is through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a common procedure with minimal recovery time.
Once your eye doctor determines that it’s time for you to have cataract surgery, your next step will be to discuss lens options and preparations for surgery. Cataract surgery involves having the cloudy lens in your eye removed and replaced with an artificial lens.
This new artificial lens will enhance your vision and allow you to see clearly without glasses or contacts. After cataract surgery, your vision will be restored, and with it, your confidence and appreciation for life.
Do you want to determine if your symptoms are due to cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME, today!
If you have cataracts, the longer they develop, the more frustrating they can make your life. The longer they are in your lenses, the more they interfere with your eyesight.
Eventually, they can cause complete vision loss. But, because cataracts are such a common condition, cataract surgery is the most common medical procedure in the country.
And one critical decision before cataract surgery could give you the best eyesight of your life after. Keep reading to learn about three activities that are improved after cataract surgery.
When you have cataracts, they grow in your natural lenses until light can no longer pass through them. When this happens, it’s time for cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery removes and replaces the cloudy lens with an intraocular lens or IOL. IOLs perform the same function as your natural lens, focusing light on your retina.
There is a wide range of IOLs you can choose from. The most basic type is a monofocal IOL.
They correct your vision at one distance. Most people opt to correct distance vision with a monofocal IOL.
That means they still need glasses for seeing things up-close. Premium IOLs offer more flexibility and capability. Depending on the IOL you choose, they could end your need for glasses.
Reading will be more enjoyable after cataract surgery, whether you select a monofocal IOL or a premium IOL. All IOLs can provide excellent up-close vision without glasses.
After cataract surgery, you can read without using reading glasses again. There’s no need to hunt down your readers because your eyes can focus on objects near you.
Driving requires crisp distance vision. A monofocal IOL that corrects distance vision will let you drive without glasses.
That’s a dramatic improvement over having cataracts. But driving becomes a lot more exciting if you choose a premium IOL.
Premium IOLs can correct vision at two or more refractive distances. They can give you good up-close sight and crisp distance vision while driving.
That means you can look at your dash or at road signs far ahead of you without needing to use glasses at all!
A premium IOL can make driving more simple. They can give you the ability to transition between refractive distances without glasses.
Premium IOLs can do the same for you when you’re playing golf. With certain premium IOLs, you can see the ball at your feet and watch it land hundreds of yards away after you tee off.
You don’t need to put on or take off your glasses to spot balls or pins down the fairway. And you don’t need glasses for any of your shots, no matter how long or short they are.
Do you want visual freedom while golfing, driving, or reading after cataract surgery? Be sure to select a premium IOL, and you can have it!
Is it time for you to have your cataracts removed? Schedule an appointment at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME, to see your vision options!
Did you know that cataracts are the number one cause of blindness worldwide? It estimated that over 17% of Americans alone have cataracts.
It is no wonder that people have concerns about losing their vision permanently because of cataracts. The good news is that thanks to cataract surgery, they are pretty simple to treat.
Having cataract surgery is also one of the safest surgeries you can have. It can’t be a coincidence that it’s also performed so often all over the world! Keep reading to learn more about cataracts!
Cataracts affect the lens of the eye, located behind the pupil. The lens serves an important function for vision. It further focuses light that passes through the cornea and pupil.
This allows light to land on the retina correctly. To achieve this purpose, the lens needs to remain translucent, or light is unable to pass through.
With age, the composition of the lens may begin to break down. This causes the proteins that normally align, allowing light to come through to clump together.
When proteins clump together, it becomes harder and harder to see. This clump of proteins is what a cataract is.
When the proteins clump together, they first form in a way that’s still able to let some light through. It’s also so small that vision loss is barely noticeable if noticed at all.
But over time, these proteins will get darker and grow larger. They eventually become a cataract and block a significant amount of light from being able to enter the eye.
For most people, this leads to partial or total vision loss or even blindness. But, the good news?
If you have cataract surgery, you can get your vision back!
Cataracts themselves are not removable from the lens of the eye. Instead, your surgeon removes the entire lens of the eye during cataract surgery.
During the procedure, this involves creating an opening in the cornea and then using a sonic device. The sonic device breaks apart the lens so it fits through the opening. These pieces are then removed using gentle suction.
But, you need your lens to see, so you’ll have an artificial lens put in to replace your natural lens, also known as an intraocular lens. An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens designed for lens replacement surgeries.
IOLs are surprisingly customizable and are selected before the procedure depending on your financial and vision preferences.
Standard IOLs are monofocal, meaning they only provide you with vision at one fixed distance. This means you will need to continue wearing glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.
Premium IOLs can provide vision at near and far distances, as well as at an intermediate distance. They are not usually covered by insurance, but many people enjoy the benefits of not needing to rely on glasses as much, or in some cases not at all.
If you select a premium IOL, your vision may even end up being better than it has ever been, as they can even correct for pre-existing refractive errors!
You don’t need to worry if you have cataracts. The first step is to schedule a cataract screening. Schedule yours at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!
One of the most well-known symptoms of cataracts is that they cause vision loss. They are, after all, the leading cause of blindness in the world.
In fact, in the U.S. alone, over half of all Americans will have cataracts by the time they are 80. But vision loss isn’t the only problem cataracts present.
Keep reading to learn about some less common signs that you may have cataracts!
Not all cataracts develop in the same way. The most common way a cataract develops is in the center of the lens of the eye. In other cases, a cataract may develop from the rim of the lens inwards.
This is called a cortical cataract. With a cortical cataract, triangular wedges or clefts grow in towards the center of the lens. This pattern of the cataract causes light to scatter inside the eye, which makes it bounce around. This glare is both painful and distracting.
Although cataracts make your vision worse, in some cases, you may notice your vision gets better. If this happens, it’s a phase of cataract development known as second sight.
This occurs when the cataract causes the lens to swell from the inside. The slight swelling changes the angle that light passes through.
This will temporarily make your near vision clearer. It may even clear up your vision enough that you no longer need glasses.
However, the keyword here is “temporarily”, as cataracts do not get better on their own. Eventually, as the lens clouds over, the second sight will wear off. Once it wears off, your vision will continue degrading.
Double vision, also known as diplopia, is another uncommon trait of cataract development. If you suffer from this symptom, you will see a second “ghost image” of what you’re focusing on.
This can be very disorienting to experience. Double vision can also be a symptom of another condition, so let your eye doctor know if you start seeing double.
One particularly interesting symptom of cataracts is visual aberrations called “halos”. Sometimes patients report seeing rings of light around street lamps or headlights.
This is most common at night. This, combined with poorer night vision from cataracts, makes driving at night very dangerous.
You should never drive when it feels unsafe. This is even more important to heed if you know that you are developing cataracts.
Setting up a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine is the first step to controlling your cataracts. Cataract surgery is simple, safe, and fast.
The procedure is also pain-free, and most patients’ recoveries are uncomplicated.
During cataract surgery, the lenses of your eyes are replaced with artificial lenses. These are called IOLs.
A big part of getting prepared for cataract surgery is selecting the IOL that best suits your needs. Some kinds of IOLs can even remove your need for glasses!
Come into our office to learn more about IOLs, cataracts, and cataract surgery. Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!
Cataracts are inevitable. As you get older, your chances of developing them will only continue to increase. If you have cataracts, they can put a stop to some of your favorite hobbies by obscuring your vision. In addition to distorting your vision, they can make your vision look like it’s tinted yellow or brown. This can make simply trying to relax with a book exasperating and will make driving (especially at night) dangerous. Having your self-sufficiency taken away from you can be difficult and frustrating, but there is hope for you if you have cataracts. Cataract removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries, meaning it is extremely understood and safe to undergo.
A cataract is made up of proteins that exist in the nourishing fluid that flows through your eye, known as the aqueous humor. When a cataract starts forming, these proteins start clumping together on the lens of the eye. The lens is important because it helps light to focus properly on the retina. Cataract surgery isn’t necessary until your cataract starts obscuring your vision. This happens over time and causes the clump of proteins to get bigger and bigger until they block a significant amount of light. This is when a cataract is ready to be removed.
It may seem obvious that the goal of cataract surgery is to remove your cataract, but there’s more to it than that. During cataract surgery, your cataract is removed by fully removing the lens of your eye.
To remove the lens, your cataract surgeon at Vision Care of Maine will break up the lens using an ultrasonic device or laser. The broken pieces of the lens are then sucked out of your eye. After the lens and cataract have been removed, an IOL (also known as an intraocular lens) is placed into your eye to replace the lens. Your IOL will take over the job of your lens, without being clouded or obscuring your vision.
Before cataract surgery, you will discuss what kind of IOL is best for you. In addition to improving your vision, IOLs are able to correct refractive errors. There are several different kinds of IOLs available, but if you are going to cover your procedure with Medicare, the only IOL that is covered is a monofocal IOL.
A monofocal lens improves your distance vision, but you may still require the use of reading glasses if you need to see things up close after cataract surgery. Different types of IOLs have advantages and disadvantages against each other. There are a lot to choose from— multifocal IOLs that have multiple focusing ranges, accommodating IOLs that mimic the small movements of a natural lens, and Toric IOLs that can correct for astigmatism. Premium IOLs like multifocal, accommodating, and Toric lenses are a great option if you are looking for freedom for glasses after cataract surgery!
Want to learn more about cataracts or schedule your cataract surgery? Contact Vision Care of Maine to schedule your cataract surgery consultation!
You guessed it – 2017 is underway and the team at VCOM is planning our next trip to Mexico!
By this time next year, Dr. Curt Young and his awesome team of technicians will be traveling back to Monterrey, Mexico with the same goal in mind – restore eyesight to those who suffer from cataracts but cannot afford this sight-saving surgery.
40% of those with cataracts in Mexico are of working age. With cataracts, their work is hindered and they cannot provide for their families. We want to change that.
“One of the patients from the 2014 project in Montemorelos, Mexico came up to their technician in the hospital corridor the day after her surgery and graciously and emotionally thanked him for his help.
She told him that she had been living by herself in a one-room shack with a dirt floor and no electricity or running water for the past several years following the loss of her vision from diabetes and cataracts.
Too visually impaired to work and without family to help, her survival depended on neighbors putting out a plate of food on her doorstep each day. When the food arrived, she had to contend with wild dogs and birds attacking her to get the meal.
She said she sometimes went days without food and often wished that she would soon die. However, following her operation, she said that she …. wanted to go back to school and become a teacher. She said that her surgery had restored much more than just her vision; it had restored her hope.
What we believe is most profound about this woman’s testimony is not the temporal and physical relief provided by the successful ophthalmic surgery, but rather the healing that occurred in this woman’s soul as a result of the actions of the missionary workers.”
A big thank you to all those involved in our mission trip to Mexico – donators, volunteers, supporters, patients, locals – this all happened with your help!
“It was so humbling – I mean, how do you put an experience like that into words? … We got to practice medicine in its purest form. … We were just helping people who don’t have access to this care otherwise.
They traveled hundreds of miles on a bus just to get to us. We would pull up everyday and there would be 3-5 buses of patients waiting for us to take care of them. I feel very blessed to have been a part of it.”
-Elizabeth Bousquet, an ophthalmic assistant at Vision Care of Maine
Check out some photos of our team from the past week down in Monterrey, where they performed 400 cataract surgeries in 5 days:
On October 1, 2016 Dr. Curt Young and a team of 6 ophthalmic technicians will travel to Monterrey, Mexico to participate in a mission with 5 other eye teams from around the U.S. to provide cataract surgeries to some of Mexico’s lowest-income areas. Dr. Young and his team are volunteering their time and expertise as well as providing the surgical supplies to perform more than 150 cataract surgeries in 5 days to restore sight to those who have become blind with cataracts.
Our team of eye care professionals is dedicated to ensuring that the people who trust us with their vision care receive the most advanced medical and surgical eye care available anywhere.
However, this is not the case in other parts of the world, so we at Vision Care of Maine are taking our expertise and technologies on the road to Mexico for a mission trip to restore the sight to more than 150 people in need.
In the United States we are blessed to be able to have a cataract surgery before it causes us to lose the ability to go about our lives normally. Unfortunately, over 285 million people worldwide live with low vision or blindness. 90% of those live in low-income countries and do not have the resources or access to services that are easily within reach in the U.S.
We thank you in advance for joining Vision Care of Maine’s ‘Vision for Compassion’ by supporting a partial, full or multiple eye surgeries ($250 for each surgery).
Note: Donation link has expired.
Dr. James Diamond, Chairman of Retinal Surgery at Tulane University, Dr. Young’s alma mater, is considered a renowned pioneer in the development of vitrectomy instrumentation and surgical techniques and is an innovator in the field of ophthalmology.
Dr. Young even trained underneath Dr. Diamond during his time at Tulane for his Retina Fellowship. Watch below!