Cataracts FAQs from Yakima Vision Center

If you’ve recently gotten a diagnosis of cataracts, you’re probably surprised. With the high tech examination equipment we have at Yakima Vision Center, most patients find out they have cataracts before they notice any symptoms. Our patients usually have a wide range of questions for our optometrist when they get a cataract diagnosis, and here are some of the most common ones:

What is a Cataract?

Your eye has a crystalline lens in the front. Sometimes protein inside the eye breaks up and attaches to the inside of the lens, making it yellow or cloudy. This is called a cataract.

What are Cataract Symptoms?

Not everyone has the same experience with cataracts. Many patients notice absolutely nothing for months or years after their diagnosis. Eventually, most will begin to develop symptoms including seeing halos around lights, double vision, blurred vision that looks like you’re looking through gauze or a veil, and a fading of colors.

What is the Treatment for Cataracts?

In most cases, our optometrist will recommend no treatment at all. If you have no symptoms, such as cloudy vision, there’s no reason to be proactive with cataracts. Some of them never progress to the point of needing treatment. You should use defensive measures to help keep them from becoming worse. Some eye care techniques we recommend are:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing hats and protective eyewear every time you leave the house
  • Avoid using oral steroids
  • Keep your blood sugar under control

What About More Serious Cataract Treatment?

If your cataracts have progressed to the point where they’re interfering with your work and home life, it’s time for a surgical procedure. Outpatient cataracts surgery is the most common surgical procedure done today, and generally, takes half a day or less to complete.

Who is Likely to Develop Cataracts?

About half the population will develop the beginnings of cataracts by the time they’re 50 years old, and almost everyone has some sign of them by the time they’re 75. They’re not exclusively for seniors, though. Cataracts can develop at any age, even in childhood, which is why it’s so important to get a regular eye exam every few years throughout your life.

What Does Cataract Surgery Involve?

There are different types of procedures, but generally, cataract surgery involved removing the clouded natural lens from your eye, then replacing it with an artificial lens. This lens works exactly the same way your natural lens does. In fact, it’s possible to use a lens that corrects your vision to 20/20, eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses after the procedure.

Call Our Eye Doctor in Yakima Today!

The word cataract can be a frightening one, especially if you have received a surprise diagnosis. If you’re looking for answers to the many questions in your mind, the caring team in our eye clinic can help. We’ll take the time to give you all the answers you need. Call our eye doctor in Yakima at (509) 965-5200 and we’ll make an appointment for a consultation.