Cataracts are a common condition that typically develop with age — in fact, over half of those over the age of 80 in the United States either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. At Ideal Family Eye Care, LTD Sylwia Szewczyk, OD & Associates, Sylwia Szewczyk, OD, and Malgorzata Zolnierzow, OD, have extensive experience helping their Chicago area patients regain clear vision after cataracts form. For expert treatment of your cataracts, call the Jefferson Park office or use the online booking tool.

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Cataracts Q & A

What are cataracts?

Your eyes contain lenses that are largely made up of water and protein and they’re designed to focus light onto your retina to create an image. Much like the lens of a camera, your vision depends upon the clarity of your lens to focus the light properly.

When a cataract forms, your lens begins to cloud over, which can happen in one of two ways:

  • The protein in your lens begins to clump together
  • Your lens begins to discolor with age, becoming yellow or brownish

Cataracts generally form in both eyes, but not necessarily at the same rate.

What causes cataracts?

For the most part, cataracts are age-related, but the process can often begin in your 40s or 50s without producing any outward signs of the problem. It usually isn’t until you enter your 60s and beyond that your developing cataracts begin to hamper your vision.

Outside of age, there are several other factors that put you more at risk of developing cataracts, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Injury to your eye
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight

It’s helpful to understand these risk factors as any measures you can take to mitigate them help prevent cataracts in the first place.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The symptoms of cataracts are tricky to identify during their early stages as the cataracts don’t necessarily interfere with your vision. As they progress, however, you may experience:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Increasing inability to distinguish darker colors
  • Poor night vision
  • A glow or halo around lighted objects
  • Double vision in one eye

Another telltale sign that cataracts may be developing is a frequent change in your corrective lenses.

How are cataracts treated?

There’s no cure for cataracts, but there’s much that the doctors at Ideal Family Eye Care can do to help you prevent cataracts, slow their development, or correct vision-impairing cataracts. If your doctor identifies risk factors early on, they may recommend supplements and lifestyle changes to slow the onset of cataracts, such as managing your diabetes or quitting smoking.

If your cataracts have already taken hold and they’re interfering with your vision, your doctor may recommend cataract surgery to replace the lenses in your eyes. This surgery is extremely effective and has helped millions of people see clearly again.

If you’d like to learn more about cataracts, please call Ideal Family Eye Care or use the online booking tool.