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Cataracts: Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment Options

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Nearly half of Americans over the age of 70 develop cataracts. Left untreated, cataracts can progress to the point that they cause complete blindness. The good news is that cataracts are easily treated, so you do not have to tolerate hazy vision. In this blog, the elite team of doctors at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute review everything you need to know about cataracts.

What Are Cataracts and How Do They Develop?

Your eye lens contains a high percentage of proteins and fibers. As you get older, though, the quality of the proteins deteriorates, causing the proteins and fibers to clump together. This clumping is what creates cataracts, a cloudiness of the lenses that causes hazy vision that gradually worsens over time.

Cataracts can form in one or both eyes. They do not go away on their own, which is why treatment is necessary when they start to significantly impact your vision.

The number one risk factor for cataracts is age. Additionally, people who smoke, have diabetes, have a history of unprotected UV exposure, or who have used steroids are at greater risk. White people are more likely to develop cataracts than Black and Latino people.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Hazy/cloudy vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Halos or glare around light sources
  • Colors appear less vibrant
  • Double vision
  • Diminished night vision
  • Your vision prescription needs frequent updating

Because vision impairment is gradual, you may miss some of these symptoms or attribute them to another cause entirely. That is why regular comprehensive eye exams are so critical. An eye doctor can diagnose a cataract in its early stages, so that you can explore appropriate treatment options as they become desired or necessary.

Cataract Treatment Options

Laser cataract surgery is the most effective option for treating cataracts. Although the term “surgery” may sound scary, this is a safe, straightforward procedure with brief downtime.

Traditional cataract surgery is a brief procedure that removes the eye’s hazy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. Your Ophthalmologist uses a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL) that corrects your vision at one distance.

If you have preexisting refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia, you may decide that you want to correct your vision at multiple distances so that you can lower or eliminate your dependence on prescription eyewear like glasses or contacts. We offer premium options including PanOptix trifocal lenses.

Schedule a Consultation

Led by experienced Ophthalmologists who have devoted their careers to restoring crisp, clear vision for their patients, St. Michaels Eye & Laser Institute is a top choice for cataract patients in the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas County, and Largo, FL. To correct your hazy vision with cataract surgery, schedule a consultation today by calling (727) 585-2200. 

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1030 W Bay Dr Suite 200
Largo, FL 33770