While cataracts are most often associated with natural aging, cataracts can develop in anyone, regardless of age. Causes of premature cataracts include injury, disease, radiation exposure, reaction to prescription medications, congenital conditions, eye surgery, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and obesity. Congenital cataracts will likely be treated right away to help prevent vision loss and help the baby’s eyes to develop properly. Traumatic cataracts caused by injury, accident, or disease can take days or even years to develop. Cataracts that develop due to increased age will likely advance through several stages progressively and gradually over the course of a few years. Inevitably, all cataracts will be treated with surgery. 

Once I have been diagnosed with cataracts, what should I do? If you have been diagnosed with a cataract, you are not alone. More than 24 million Americans aged 40 and older have received a cataract diagnosis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has several recommendations following an eye exam where a patient has been diagnosed with cataracts. These include continuing with yearly eye exams to evaluate the development of the cataract, protecting the eyes from ultraviolet light by wearing eye protections that blocks at least 99% of UV exposure, quit smoking, change your prescription eyeglasses or contacts as necessary, use brighter lights for reading and other activities, limit night driving once halos or glares affect driving safety, manage any related health problems such as diabetes, and begin preparation for future cataract surgery by receiving information from your eye care provider. You can also visit our website here WEBSITE for more information on how to prepare for your cataract surgery. 

Cataracts can only be removed with surgery. If cataracts are not impairing your vision, your eye doctor can suggest some simple options suitable to your needs to navigate the early stages of a cataract. Once a cataract begins to significantly impact your ability to complete daily and routine tasks, you should schedule cataract surgery where the cataract will be removed and replaced with an artificial lens to restore and improve your vision. 

You do not have to suffer the symptoms of a progressive cataract. At Pendleton Eye we are dedicated to the care and successful treatment of providing our patients with their best vision possible. Don’t delay in scheduling your comprehensive eye exam to diagnose and treat any symptoms or conditions you are experiencing that may affect your vision. Call to schedule today at 760-758-2008.