WHAT ARE CATARACTS?
When cataracts develop in your eyes, it causes the lens in the eye to cloud over. Proteins begin clumping together on the lens, and these proteins can build up and cause the lens to become cloudy so that the eye has limited vision.
It is possible for a cataract to appear in just one eye, or some people get cataracts in both eyes. These cataracts develop independently, and cannot be spread from one eye to another, or from one person to another.
If cataracts are left untreated, they can cause a decrease in vision and make it hard for you to move through your daily activities because of the impaired vision.
CAN KIDS GET CATARACTS?
It is estimated that over 50 percent of adults over the age of 65 have cataracts, but this eye condition can occasionally develop in children. Sometimes, it is possible for babies to be born with cataracts, or a child might develop them at some point during childhood. When a child has cataracts, it is known as “congenital cataracts.”
This eye condition might only impact the outside edge of the lens, and when the outside edge is the only part affected, it could allow the child to maintain their central vision. In this case, it may not be necessary to remove the clouded lens. But, it can happen where the child’s central vision is affected because the lens becomes too clouded, which might require cataract surgery to restore the child’s vision.
If you have cataracts, or suspect that your child has cataracts, schedule an appointment with an eye surgeon to learn more about the options available. Most of the time, early-stage cataracts are treated with contact lenses or prescription glasses, but other treatment methods might be considered if cataracts continue to worsen.
Advanced stages of cataracts might require surgery to restore vision, and there is amazing technology that can be used to improve eyesight after someone has developed cataracts. These surgical techniques allow the doctor to remove the clouded lenses, and those lenses can be replaced with a lens implant, which will immediately restore better vision after surgery is complete.
Are you or your child at risk for developing cataracts? Call Silverstein Eye Centers today to make an appointment for an eye exam.