Cataracts are a very common problem for people as we age. You can sometimes see cataracts when you are speaking with an elderly friend or family member. Visible clouding of their eyes may be visible. This is cataracts. A cataract is simply the clouding of the lens inside the eye.

The problem with this cloudiness is that it worsens as we age. It will eventually obstruct vision entirely. It is the most common cause of blindness around the world, but it is also very treatable.

What Causes Cataracts?

In a typical younger person, the lenses we see through inside our eyes that focus light are clear. The light that comes through them is focused on the retina. The rest of our eye structures work together to adjust and transmit images to the brain. This allows us to see clearly. We may need the help of eyewear, but we are able to see clearly.

The lenses inside our eyes are made of mostly water and proteins. The protein stays aligned in a way that our lenses remain clear. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. This is a cataract and is the cloudiness that causes blurriness and difficulty seeing.

Treatment Options

The good news is that treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. One type of treatment is surgery. Cataracts surgery replaces the lens inside an affected eye. This restores your clear vision. Other treatment may be possible, but cataract surgery is common and very helpful for many people.

If you have questions about this or other eye health conditions, call our office or speak with your eye doctor at your next appointment. Schedule yearly eye exams to look for potential symptoms and risk factors of eye disease and other threats to your vision!

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A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. Left untreated, it is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Vision loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing through and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.

The most common cause for cataracts is biological aging and over-exposure to ultraviolet light. Seeing through a cataract is similar to looking through a foggy window. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights. While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that block 100% UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset as well as decrease the exposure to direct sunlight.

Cataracts do not need to interfere with your lifestyle. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from cataracts, call our office today to schedule an eye health evaluation.

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To our patients,

The safety and well-being of our employees and our patients is always our priority, and we recognize the important role we play in providing comprehensive eye care throughout the Des Moines area. Given the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community and throughout our nation, we are taking extensive measures to prevent any further spread of the virus. We are constantly monitoring this pandemic and will continue to look for recommendations from the American Optometric Association as well as our local Iowa branch.

To minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are asking any patients with any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, sneezing, or fever), have traveled outside of the United States, or believe to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to reschedule their appointments. Hand washing, social distancing, and self-isolation are still the best ways to prevent this virus from spreading more widely. We are committed to providing the best care to you and will continue to give you the best guidance we can.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation during this time and ask for your understanding if you are someone who is asked to reschedule your appointment to a later time.

Thank you again and be well!