What are the dangers of untreated cataracts?
A cataract is the clouding of the lens of your eye. For patients with cataracts, seeing through this lens is like looking through a fogged-up window. Clouded vision makes it hard to drive, especially at night, and to read or do basic tasks. Cataracts develop from aging or injury, which causes tissue changes to your lens. Long-term use of steroids, diabetes, and past eye surgery are all contributors to the development of cataracts too. Most cataracts develop slowly, which means that it’s important to schedule regular eye exams at Wang Vision Institute with Dr. Ming Wang and Dr. Josh Frenkel to check for changes with your vision. At our Nashville, TN optical center, we suggest cataract surgery for patients who are candidates for this treatment.
Some common cataract symptoms include:
Blurry or cloudy vision
Increased difficulty seeing at night
Sensitivity to light
Need for brighter light for reading
Double vision in one eye
Most of the time, the cloudiness in your vision will only affect a part of your eye. As the cataract grows larger, it will cloud more of the lens, which can lead to more noticeable changes in your vision. At Wang Vision Institute, we suggest you schedule an eye exam in Nashville, TN whenever you notice any changes to your vision.
How do cataracts form?
Your lens is positioned behind the iris, the colored part of the lens. The lens’ job is to focus on the light that passes into the eye and produce clear images on the retina. As you age, your lens becomes less transparent and much thicker. When a cataract develops, clouding occurs on part or all of your lens. This can even block light as it passes through the lens, which results in blurry vision.
Diagnosing and treating cataracts
At Wang Vision Institute, we perform eye exams that include many tests that can help determine if you have a cataract. Visual acuity tests how well you can read letters on a chart. A slit-lamp examination allows us to see any abnormal structures on the front of your eye when they’re magnified.
After we diagnose a cataract, Dr. Wang and Dr. Frenkel can discuss treatment options that will benefit your eye health, such as cataract surgery. For less severe cases, we may suggest corrective lenses that can improve your vision. However most of the time, we suggest cataract surgery, whether traditional cataract surgery, laser cataract surgery, or YAG laser capsulotomy.
What happens when cataracts go untreated?
Cataracts worsen over time, so your vision will continue to worsen. This can decrease your quality of life and make working, reading, and driving especially difficult. If left untreated, cataracts can even cause total blindness. The World Health Organization says that, globally, cataracts are the number one cause of blindness. They are unpredictable and can progress at different rates, meaning that postponing surgery can be risky. If your cataract is caused by aging and not an illness or injury, then it is more likely to progress slowly. When the eye is not properly cared for or is exposed to smoking, radiation, or sunlight, the cataract can form faster and requires more efficient intervention.
One of the easiest ways to prevent cataracts from progressing is with regular eye exams at Wang Vision Institute. This allows us to regularly evaluate your eye health and to detect any vision changes. A healthy diet with fruits and vegetables helps make sure that you get antioxidants, which are important for your eye health. Wearing sunglasses with 99 – 100% UVA/UVB protection also helps prevent the development of cataracts.
Learn how to treat cataracts in Nashville, TN
At Wang Vision Institute, Dr. Ming Wang and Dr. Josh Frenkel perform regular eye exams that detect and diagnose cataracts. If detected, we provide many different treatment options for those wanting to repair their eyes with laser cataract surgery or traditional cataract surgery. When you notice any change to your vision, call our professional team in Nashville, TN to schedule an appointment as cataracts should never go untreated.