Cataracts develop gradually over the course of 10-20 years, so you can often get by with new prescription eyeglasses for a long time. With regular eye exams, Dr. Stephen Chase at Family Vision Care Center can monitor the changes in your eyes, make sure you have the appropriate glasses for clear vision, and help you decide when it’s time for surgical intervention. When your vision begins to change, call the office in Torrance, California, or use online booking to schedule an eye exam.
The lens in each eye precisely focuses light onto the center of the retina. Even though your lens is clear, it contains a variety of substances, including proteins. Over time, the proteins begin to clump together, causing a cloudy lens that interferes with your vision.
Cataracts can form after eye surgery, from an eye injury, or exposure to radiation, but in most cases, they develop as you get older. They can start to develop as early as your 40s, but they don’t affect vision until they get larger. Vision changes become noticeable about 10-20 years after cataracts first develop.
There are also several types of cataracts that affect different parts of the lens:
A nuclear cataract forms deep in the center of the lens. This is the type of cataract associated with aging.
This cataract occurs at the back of your lens. Patients with diabetes or those taking steroids are more likely to develop a subcapsular cataract.
This type of cataract is characterized by white areas that start in the periphery of your lens, then gradually progress toward the center.
As cataracts get large enough to cause symptoms, you’ll experience:
In the early stage, when cataracts begin to affect vision, most patients solve the problem with prescription eyeglasses, extra magnification, anti-glare glasses, and appropriate lighting. These options may be all you need to see clearly for years, depending on how rapidly your cataracts progress.
When your cataract seriously impairs your vision, the only treatment option is surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new intraocular lens. Cataract surgery does more than treat your cataract because you and your doctor can choose from a variety of lenses that correct your vision problems.
In addition to correcting common refractive vision errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, some intraocular lenses adjust to give you clear vision of near and distant objects, while others correct astigmatism.
If your vision is blurry or you have other symptoms of cataracts, call Family Vision Care Center or book an appointment online.