The providers at Saratoga Hospital Medical Group—Eye Care offer routine, comprehensive exams for patients of all ages to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including age-related developments like cataracts.
More than half of all Americans aged 80 or older have cataracts, or have had surgery to get rid of them. Cataracts occur when the lens behind your eye becomes cloudy, so it feels like you’re constantly looking through a frosted windshield as your car warms up in the winter. The lens, which harnesses light to produce clear, sharp images, becomes less flexible as you get older. The tissue breaks down and clumps together, and that clump becomes the cataract.
Although they develop so slowly that some patients are not aware they’re experiencing any loss in vision, that eventually will change. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms become more overt over time and may include:
- Vision that is cloudy, blurry, or filmy.
- Glare or light sensitivity.
- Frequent changes in glasses prescription.
- Double vision in one eye.
- Need for a brighter light to read, cook, or complete other daily activities.
- Poor night vision.
- Slight change in color perception.
While they do tend to present in older patients, certain preexisting conditions may make you more susceptible to cataracts at a younger age, including diabetes, smoking, sun exposure, long-term use of steroids, or some other type of eye surgery. As a result, the best preventative strategies are actually really simple: take care of any preexisting conditions, wear sunglasses, and maintain a healthy diet.
But most importantly, don’t miss your annual eye exam. In the early stages, your provider can manage cataracts with regular observation and updated prescriptions before exploring other treatment options.
If you’re overdue for an exam, or you’ve started to notice changes in your vision, make an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist right away. The team at Saratoga Hospital Medical Group—Eye Care is also accepting new patients. You may call the office directly at 518-587-8400.