Types of cataracts:
- Age-related cataracts. Nearly half of the population will develop cataracts by the time they reach age 65, generally as a result of the aging process.
- Congenital cataracts. Babies can sometimes be born with cataracts as a result of an infection, injury, or poor development before they were born, or may develop during childhood.
- Secondary cataracts. These develop as a result of other medical conditions, like diabetes, or exposure to toxic substances, certain drugs (such as corticosteroids or diuretics), ultraviolet light, or radiation.
- Traumatic cataracts. These generally form after an injury to the eye.
Besides age, other things that can increase a person's risk of developing cataracts include cigarette smoke, air pollution, and heavy alcohol consumption.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts generally form very slowly and cause few symptoms until they noticeably block light. Symptoms can include:
- Cloudy, blurry, foggy or filmy vision
- Progressive nearsightedness in older people
- Changes in the way color is seen
- Problems driving at night because of glare, or problems with glare during the day
- Double vision
- Sudden changes in glasses prescription
If vision problems are interfering with your daily activities, you should consider treatment options.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest outpatient procedures. At the El Camino Eye Center of Excellence, many cataracts are removed with groundbreaking laser surgery that leverages the same technology used in LASIK eye surgery. El Camino Hospital Ambulatory Surgery Center is one of the first Bay Area surgery centers to use the femtosecond laser, which allows the damaged lens to be removed and replaced with greater accuracy and precision. Recovery is fast, and most patients are comfortable returning to their normal activities the very next day.
To find out if laser cataract surgery is right for you, call 844-765-1344 to make an appointment with one of board-certified ophthalmologists at the El Camino Ambulatory Surgery Center's Eye Center of Excellence today.
This article first appeared in the May 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.