Patients at Risk for Cataracts
Cataracts refer to clumps of protein that form on the eye’s lens as patients age. They can cloud the patient’s vision, making it difficult to see. Cataracts are a common problem among senior patients. At Pacific Retinal Specialists, we offer ophthalmology services to care for overall eye health and restore clearer vision for patients. We also explain cataract causes and risk factors to our Beverly Hills patients. For those who are suffering from cataracts, it is important to understand the possible causes of the condition, and it is valuable for patients with good eye health to learn the common risk factors of cataracts so that they know if they are at an increased risk of developing this eye disease. This is especially important because early detection is key to managing the condition and offering patients successful treatment.
Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye’s lens begin to clump together. There are several reasons why this may occur. Below are some of the most common causes of cataracts:
- Overexposure to the sun
- Other eye diseases
- Eye injury
- Long-term use of steroid medications
- Over exposure of radiation to the head (such as from x-rays or radiation treatment)
- In some cases cataracts are congenital, meaning children are born with the condition
When cataracts first develop, they may not result in any visible symptoms or side effects. It is a good idea to know the risk factors of cataracts so that patients who do have an increased risk of developing cataracts can be sure to schedule regular eye examinations. By diagnosing cataracts early, patients stand a better chance of controlling this condition without experiencing any affect on their quality of life. Below are some factors that put a patient at risk for cataracts:
- Advanced age
- A family history of cataracts
- History of sun exposure without protection for the eyes
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Eye surgery, such as procedures to treat glaucoma
- Conditions such as asthma and emphysema that are treated with high doses of steroid medication
- Infections experienced by a mother during pregnancy can increase the risk of a congenital cataract for the baby
The only way to actually get rid of a cataract is through eye surgery. However, surgery is only recommended for patients who have advanced cataracts that are severely affecting vision. In most cases, patients can control cataracts and ensure clear vision by relying on the use of prescription lenses in the form of glasses or contact lenses. This is the most conservative treatment for cataracts and usually allows patients to avoid eye surgery for quite some time.
Schedule an Appointment
If your vision has become blurry or cloudy and you are concerned about cataracts, it is important to see an experienced ophthalmologist such as Dr. David J. Parks at Pacific Retina Specialists. Dr. Parks offers treatment for cataracts and other eye diseases and allows patients to restore clearer vision. To learn more about our services, schedule an appointment with Dr. Parks at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you.