Cataracts are such a common eye condition that by the time an American reaches 80 years of age, there is a 50% chance that they either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. While common, cataracts make it difficult to see and impair your living standard. Our staff of optometrists and ophthalmologists at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology in Chapel Hill, NC, work together to offer you the best eye care.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts naturally occur as you age, when the proteins in your lens start to break apart and clump together. These clumps make your eyesight blurry or cloudy, making it difficult to see. Cataracts grow slowly, so the changes are gradual. You may notice that while you are sensitive to light, you also need more light to read or knit. You probably find it harder to see at night and may notice halos around streetlights. Some people even experience double vision because of cataracts.
Some people are more prone to get cataracts than others. Having a family history of cataracts can increase your risk of getting them. You may also be at a higher risk if you smoke or drink excessively. And, spending a lot of time in the sun means more exposure to UV rays, which isn't good for your eyes. Whether you have cataracts now or not, it is good to wear a hat and sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes.
Do I Need Surgery?
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to visit an optometry clinic or an ophthalmologist to have a complete eye exam. This helps the doctor diagnose you with cataracts or determine if you have some other type of eye condition.
If a diagnosis of cataracts is determined, our doctor will discuss treatment options. If the cataracts are mild, you may only need a prescription change. But, if cataracts affect your quality of life—it is hard to see the television or drive—we can discuss surgery or laser treatment.
Surgery involves the doctor removing your lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. The surgery is safe, and once your lens is replaced, cataract surgery is seldom needed again. You need to do things before the procedure, such as not eating or drinking for 12 hours. After the surgery, you will need to wear an eyepatch to protect your eye and visit our doctor for checkups to monitor your progress.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor in Chapel Hill, NC
At Chapel Hill Ophthalmology in Chapel Hill, NC, we know how important vision is and do everything we can to make sure you are seeing the world as clearly as possible. Give us a call today at (919) 942-8701 to schedule your appointment.