Cataracts: How Do I Know if I’m at Risk?

As we get older, some people develop a cataract in one or both eyes that interferes with vision. There are other causes of cataracts, too. Luckily, treatments are available to help restore vision. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. It can affect one or both eyes, severely limiting your vision. It may seem like you’re continually looking out a foggy window and everything may appear a bit blurry. You may see a glare around lights or have trouble seeing at night.  Cataracts can be caused by multiple factors including age, injury, medications, other diseases, and genetics.

If you think you or a loved one has a cataract, we encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Grace Wu or Dr. Meei-Ling Wu of Ethos Medical Group in our Orange County, California. We specialize in ophthalmology and diseases of the eye. We are compassionate and are known for making our patients feel at ease. We will examine you and go over your medical history. We will also order tests on your eye to help make a diagnosis.

These tests include:

  • Visual acuity exam (reading the eye chart)
  • Dilated eye exam (eye drops widen your pupils so Dr. Wu can examine your retina and optic nerve for damage)
  • Measuring the pressure inside the eye

If Dr. Wu diagnoses you with a cataract, you do have treatment options, including new glasses and anti-glare sunglasses. If a cataract interferes with your daily life, surgery may be the best option for you.

Cataract surgery takes about 15 minutes and is done in our Orange County surgical suite. During cataract surgery, Dr. Wu replaces your cloudy lens with a new one, and your vision is restored.

Cataracts: How do I know if I’m at risk?

Cataracts develop as part of the normal aging process, so we’re all at risk of developing them at some point. But there are other risk factors. Do any of these conditions pertain to you?

  • Living with diabetes
  • A family history of cataracts, especially at a young age
  • Long-term exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays or tanning booths
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher)
  • High blood pressure (usually defined as 130/80 and above)
  • History of eye injury or eye surgery
  • Long-term use of steroid medications
  • Multiple X-rays or radiation treatment to the head
  • Some children are born with cataracts (also called congenital cataracts)

What can I do to prevent cataracts?

While cataracts can develop as we age, there are many other risks that increase the chances of developing cataracts. Here are some suggested actions to reduce your risk of developing cataracts.

  • Lose weight and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables for eye health
  • Quit smoking
  • Have regular eye exams
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when outside to help block the sunlight from your eyes

There’s no reason to suffer from cloudy vision any longer. If you’re in the Orange County, California area, make an appointment with Dr. Wu at Ethos Medical Group today. Call us or use our convenient online booking tool.

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