Cataracts. The clouding of the lens on one eye – or both. This condition is quite common, and one that we tend to associate with “old age.” For the most part, statistics seem to indicate that thickening of the lens of the eye does, in fact, occur gradually. Individuals over the age of 70 are at a significantly higher risk of cataracts than younger individuals. Being an age-related eye condition, it is possible that cataracts do not get the full extent of attention they need.
There is no reason to live with cataracts, regardless of your age. Here are some of the signposts that you may use to determine when you want to schedule a consultation with your ophthalmologist to discuss cataract removal.
- Daily activities aren’t what they used to be. It doesn’t matter if you are 17 or 70, you should be able to enjoy an active lifestyle that suits your personality. We know of many older individuals who continue to spend time on the trails, on the slopes, or on the beach. If cataracts are making it difficult to stay as active as you’d like, they need to go!
- Hobbies are no longer as enjoyable as they once were. It is not only physical performance that counts. We don’t all get our kicks from extreme sports. For some, it is working in the garden that provides the most joy, or walking the dog or drawing. Whatever the hobbies are that you want to have in your life, you should; and cataracts need not stand in your way.
- Driving is a necessity; and it is also an aspect of independence. People with cataracts may find that dusk is an awful time to drive. After dark, as well, driving may be unpleasant, and even stressful, due to glare or other visual distortions.
- Current interventions aren’t working. Often, non-surgical methods of vision correction are attempted before cataracts are removed. If you have worn glasses to reduce glare, and have added light to your home to improve visual acuity, and you still find that cataracts are a problem, call your ophthalmologist.
For information on cataract treatment at Central Florida Eye Institute, call (352) 237-8400.