The lens of the human eye, located behind the iris, has three parts: the capsule, the cortex, and the nucleus. All parts of the lens are normally clear. When it becomes opaque, we call it a cataract. A cataract is not a film or growth that occurs in the eye. It is simply a cloudy lens. As the opacity worsens, it prevents light from properly focusing on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. Early on, opacities or changes to the lens may not disturb vision significantly. As the lens continues to change, however, the vision becomes blurred, and the person notices glare, haziness, and difficulty with things, like seeing street signs or reading.
Cataracts are extremely common. Generally, they are a part of the normal aging process and start to develop as the proteins within the lens begin to degrade. Cataract surgery is the number one surgery performed in the U.S.A. with nearly 2 million performed yearly.
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we have extensive experience in detecting and treating each stage of cataracts. Contact our Greenbelt or Bowie, MD office today to schedule a comprehensive cataract evaluation.
Cataracts usually don't begin to occur until after the age of 40, and some people don't even notice any symptoms until they reach their 60s. However, everyone who lives long enough will end up with a cataract eventually. Cataracts don't hurt, and they can be present for quite a while before you start to notice vision disturbance. This lack of early symptoms makes it crucial to receive eye exams on a regular basis. If you are over the age of 40 and are noticing any of the following symptoms, schedule your comprehensive exam at Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons right away:
- Blurry or hazy vision or dim vision that requires brighter lights in order to read small print
- Increased glare and sensitivity to light, especially in bright sunlight or while driving at night
- A yellowing of the vision
- Increased nearsightedness, requiring frequent changes in your glasses prescription
For nearly all of our Maryland cataracts patients, cataracts are caused by age, lifetime sun exposure, and genetics. In the other patients, cataracts may be related to diabetes, steroid use (for asthma, allergies, or immune problems), or trauma.
Cataracts occur when the proteins within the lens of the eye begin to break down. This breakdown occurs naturally in everyone, but there are other environmental and lifestyle factors that can have an impact:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Alcohol consumption
- Eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
- Degenerative myopia
Your treatment for cataracts will depend on the stage of your cataracts. In the beginning stages, many patients only need prescription glasses or contact lenses. However, some patients with very early cataracts opt to go ahead and have surgical cataract removal. If your cataracts are in the later stages, your best treatment option will likely be surgery. At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are experienced in performing the most advanced cataract surgery techniques in the field.
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Cloudy to Clear Eyes
For men and women who are over the age of 40, having comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis is vital to being able to detect and treat cataracts, among other eye conditions. At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are some of the most experienced and highly skilled cataract surgeons in the area. Contact us at our Greenbelt or Bowie, MD office to schedule your comprehensive eye exam so we can help you stay ahead of cataracts.