The Effects of Untreated Cataracts

May 12th, 2020

Untreated cataracts will continue to impair your vision, and they can become increasingly difficult to remove the longer they go unaddressed.  

Cataracts are a common condition. According to the National Eye Institute, over half of Americans over the age of 80 have cataracts. Even though cataracts are most age-related, people in their twenties and thirties can also develop cataracts, especially when they have a genetic predisposition. 

How do cataracts develop?

Cataracts refer to a cloudy discoloration in the lens of your eye. Your lens is a thin layer of flexible tissue near the surface of the eye that helps to focus incoming light for your retina to process. As you get older, the tissue in your lens becomes less flexible and more rigid. This can lead to protein buildup in your lens, making it fog and reducing the clarity of your vision.  

Early-stage cataracts might not seem to pose too much of a threat, but cataracts almost always get worse. Cataracts can begin with moderately blurry vision, but continued cataracts have several telltale symptoms, including a persistent glare in your vision, sensitivity to light, and double vision. Worsening vision in only one eye is a major warning sign for cataracts. 

Cataracts cannot be treated by standard eyeglasses, so if your vision problems are persisting despite your corrective lenses, you might be developing cataracts. Young people with these symptoms should ask their family members if cataracts run in the family, to understand whether they might have a genetic risk. 

What are the risks of cataracts?

Because cataracts fog up your vision, they make your ocular lenses more reflective, which impairs your night vision. This makes driving a major hazard, especially in the dark. Untreated cataracts can also lead to trips and falls, confusion, and even depression when foggy vision keeps you from enjoying your daily life. 

Unfortunately, it’s common for people who suffer from cataracts to ignore them even as their quality of life depreciates. Older patients might consider cataracts a natural part of aging, avoiding treatment until the cataracts become unmanageable. Younger patients often delay cataract diagnosis or treatment because they associate cataracts with aging.

Cataract treatment: the earlier, the better

If you suspect you might be developing cataracts, don’t wait until they become unmanageable to find a solution. Cataracts might not be infectious, but they can seriously increase your risk of accidents, and impair your daily life. In addition to the physical dangers of untreated cataracts, cataracts can become more difficult to remove the longer they go untreated. 

Clinical treatment is quick, easy, and highly effective. To determine whether you have cataracts, your eye doctor will use a standard dilated eye test. If you do have cataracts, the solution is usually surgery. Cataract surgery isn’t as invasive as it sounds — it can often take just a few minutes for a qualified eye doctor to remove a cataract lens, and replace it with a clear artificial lens. 

Our experienced doctors at Kleiman Evangelista can give you a cataract diagnosis and an easy surgical solution without hassle. If you think you might have cataracts, don’t wait for your vision to get worse. For patients in the DFW metroplex and Northeast Texas, request an appointment at Kleiman Evangelista today!     

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