Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Right now, more than 2.5 million Canadians are living with cataracts. They are increasingly common with age, and by age 65, almost everyone has cataracts.
Like most eye diseases, cataracts start to grow silently: they don’t present with pain, and their growth is often so slow that you don’t notice it’s happening until weeks, months, and sometimes even years after they’ve started developing.
Over time, your vision may become blurry, hazy, foggy, and cloudy. Have you ever tried to look through a window with condensation on it? In its extremes, cataracts are not unlike that effect.
Your vision may also become discoloured, and over time you may find that glare is more and more of a problem.
Cataracts form as the eye’s lens begins to change composition, gradually changing from transparent to increasingly opaque.
Lifestyle Factors – Cataracts are quite common and appear to develop in most people at some point in their life. While the medical community does not yet understand why cataracts form, we are able to detect and manage them appropriately.
Certain lifestyle factors and choices have been shown to increase the risk of cataracts. These include:
High blood pressure
Symptoms – Symptoms come on gradually.
A cataract is diagnosed via a comprehensive eye exam. Diagnosis is a pain-free process (learn more about eye exams).
Once diagnosed, we are able to adjust your corrective lens prescription as needed to correct the visual distortion. However, the cataract will eventually reach a point where the only appropriate treatment is removal via surgery.
Cataract removal surgery is an outpatient procedure and involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a new intraocular lens (IOL). If you are a candidate for surgery, we will refer you to a local ophthalmologist for surgery.