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At Eyes First Vision Center, serving Toms River, Manahawkin, Manchester, Middletown, Eatontown, Bricktown, Red Bank, Sea Girt, Matawan, Hazlet and the surrounding regions, we witness firsthand how cataracts affect our eye care patients. Fortunately, when we detect cataracts early, we're able to monitor them and prevent serious complications like blindness. However, without regular examinations from an optometry doctor, you may not know you have them until it's too late.
A cataract is an eye condition that causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy. Changes occur in the lens that decreases the quality of your vision. The lens plays a vital role in focusing light on the retina, which is why your vision looks clouded when you have cataracts. Your lens is positioned behind your iris, so in most cases, you're not able to see if you have a cataract. Generally, you won't be able to see one on the outside until it worsens. In a majority of cases, you develop cataracts as a result of age or an injury to the eye. Some inherited disorders increase the likelihood you'll develop cataracts. It's most common in patients who are over the age of 40 years of age.
When you first develop a cataract, it might not affect your vision much. As it worsens, your eyesight will look as though you're looking through a fogged-up window. The cloudiness may make it difficult for you to read, especially without a bright light. It can affect your ability to drive, especially at night. It will even be difficult to look at the expressions on individuals' faces. Sometimes, you'll have a sensitivity to light and glare. You might have double vision in the affected eye. Other symptoms of cataracts include the following:
At our eye care center, we recommend cataract screening early to prevent complications. During your examination, we'll review your medical history and take into account your symptoms. We'll conduct a visual acuity test, which consists of you reading a series of letters. This test determines if you have any visual impairments.
We might also conduct a slit-lamp examination. This test allows the eye doctor to view the structures in the front of the eye using a slit lamp. It utilizes an intense light to view the lens, iris, and cornea. Our eye doctor might do a retinal exam, which begins with an eye drop to dilate the pupils, so the optometrist is able to see the back of your eyes.
The first part of treatment consists of us trying to reduce the symptoms you have. For instance, we'll advise you on the proper lighting to use when you read. We may recommend you no longer drive at night as the cataract worsens. In the initial stages of the condition, we'll pair you with corrective eyewear to help improve your vision. This is usually enough for you to be able to see clearly. However, as the condition gets worse, you may need surgery. The surgery consists of removing the damaged lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. We don't perform this surgery, but we can provide you with a referral.
To get tested for cataracts or for assistance managing them, contact Eyes First Vision Center, serving Toms River, Manahawkin, Middletown, Manchester, Bricktown, Eatontown, Sea Girt, Red Bank, Matawan, and Hazlet. Schedule an exam with our optometry expert by calling 866-393-7347 today.