The most common reason for the development of cataracts is aging. In fact, nearly half of the U.S. population between 70 and 80 years old has been diagnosed with cataracts. Risk Factors for Cataracts Although denaturing and degradation of lens proteins occur naturally as we age, this process is accelerated by risk factors that may lead to the development of cataracts at a younger age. Ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) actually alters gene expression and disrupts the normal chemical composition in the eye to facilitate cataract development. Diabetics, smokers, heavy drinkers and people who spend a lot of time in the sun without wearing sunglasses are more prone to eventually suffering cataracts. Childhood or early adulthood cataracts are often attributed to chromosome abnormalities such as those found in people with down syndrome, cri-du-chat syndrome, myotonic dystrophy and other genetic disorders. Signs You May Have Cataracts: You can't see as well when driving at night as you used to. Headlight glare blurs your vision considerably and you may see halos around street lights and neon street signs. Printed material is blurry and harder to read, even when you are wearing prescription glasses. You may have double vision as well. Discerning differences among similar color shades is nearly impossible. Things you look at appear to have a light, brownish tint to them. The best way to find out if cataracts are interfering with your vision is to have one of our Orlando cataracts eye doctors perform an exam to detect fissures/clefts or yellowish opacities. Another cataract test is the fundus (dilated eye) test involving an ophthalmoscope and eye drops that dilate (open) your pupils. The fundus test allows our eye doctors to examine your optic nerve, retina and other parts of the eye relevant to cataract development. Cataract Removal Surgery A non-invasive procedure using ultrasonic energy to dissolve cataracts, phacoemulsification is the most common type of cataract removal surgery. Phacoemulsification involves your doctor numbing your eye, making an incision in your cornea through which a tiny needle is inserted and using this probe to "emulsify" the eye lens and cataract with ultrasound waves. A flexible, synthetic lens is then slipped into the capsular bag that once contained the natural eye lens. What Happens If Cataracts are not Removed? If our Orlando eye doctors detect symptoms of cataracts, we can help. Some cataracts never need removing while others thicken significantly and require phacoemulsification. In their advanced stages, cataracts are more difficult to remove as they harden and absorb the lens. Cataracts may also cause inflammation, increased pressure within the eye and may even promote the onset of glaucoma. For more information about cataracts or to schedule an appointment, call the Maitland Vision Center today at 407-647-2020.
What our patient's say
"I've been going to Maitland Vision Center since the 80s and have always been happy with the great office staff and Dr. Willson. This week I had my first appointment with Dr. Schott who has taken over after Dr. Willson's retirement and I couldn't be happier with the new guy! Looking forward to many more years of great care. (PS: I was disappointed when Dr. Willson phased out his optical (eyeglasses) center some years ago, but was happy to learn that Dr. Schott plans to bring it back.)"