A cataract is a medical condition which affects one or both eyes, most typically with people in their senior years. A clouding of the natural lens in the eye, a cataract gradually impairs sight. At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometric physicians, Dr. Lan O'Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez, detect cataracts on routine eye exams, helping patients get the treatment they need.
Cataracts are changes in the proteins which form the intraocular lens in each eye. Over time--usually starting at age 40 and becoming noticeable around age 60--these proteins breakdown. This degradation impacts how well your lens allows light and images to travel through the lens to the retina at the back of the eye. Accordingly, vision becomes:
- Less clear at night
- Sensitive to extremely bright light, such as automobile headlights or noonday sunlight
Fortunately, most symptoms develop gradually, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, congenital cataracts (those present at birth) or those due to injury, disease or medications (such as corticosteroids) may develop earlier and more quickly.
Solving the problem of cataracts
At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Gonzalez often diagnose cataracts on routine medical eye exam with dilation of the pupils and inspection of the interior and back of the eye. A visual acuity test reveals further details which confirm the presence of cataracts.
What can be done about cataracts
At first, your cataracts may be perceptibly asymptomatic. In other words, you may notice little to no change in your vision whatsoever. However, when glasses or other interventions no longer help you perform daily tasks, you will require surgery by a qualified eye surgeon.
This doctor will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one. Most of today's cataract procedures are quick, one-day procedures with tiny incisions and no sutures. Your unique health issues and eye structure will determine the details of your surgery.
Find out more
At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Dr. Lan O'Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez deliver a full range of eye care and vision services. If you have a problem, such as cataracts, they will provide the support and referral you need to achieve excellent eye health once again. Phone us for your routine exam or with any questions you may have about cataracts: (850) 622-4000.