The importance of routine comprehensive eye exams cannot be understated, because many eye diseases can be identified in their earliest stages before they affect your eyesight. Early detection is important for eye conditions like cataracts in order to treat them before they affect your quality of life.
At Family Eyecare, we diagnose and help our patients manage cataracts until we can help them get the cataract surgery that will restore their eyesight. While we don’t perform cataract surgery ourselves, we provide thorough pre- and post-operative care while our patients have their procedures performed by one of the trusted local cataract surgeons with whom we partner.
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What is a Cataract?
Behind our eye’s pupil is a lens that focuses light onto the retina, resulting in the images we see. This lens is normally clear to allow light to pass through, but as time goes on it can start to degrade and become clouded, resulting in blurry vision. This clouding of the eye’s natural lens is referred to as a cataract. Cataracts are a natural part of aging.
Symptoms of a Cataract
As cataracts worsen, symptoms can include blurry or cloudy vision, trouble seeing in low light, the appearance of halos around lights, distorted or faded color vision, increased light sensitivity, and eventually vision loss. These symptoms often progress gradually, so it’s important to undergo annual eye examinations to check for early signs of cataracts.
How Cataracts are Diagnosed
During a comprehensive eye exam, our eye doctors evaluate the overall health of the eyes, including taking a closer look at the lens to identify issues a patient couldn’t possibly notice on their own. Special care is taken when examining patients who have increased risk for cataracts. Risk factors include diabetes, smoking, certain medications, and genetic factors.
How Cataracts are Treated
While vision prescription adjustments and small changes to your daily routine — such as using brighter lights to read and avoiding driving at night — can help manage cataracts in the beginning, eventually your cataracts will completely impair your vision and hold you back from living life normally. At this point, surgical removal is the only way to restore vision.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common eye surgeries in the country, and is a safe outpatient procedure with excellent success rates. During cataract surgery, an eye surgeon will remove the eye’s clouded natural lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (or IOL). Some IOLs can make your vision even better than it was before cataracts formed, correcting refractive issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Pre- and Post-Operative Cataract Surgery Care in Virginia
Family Eyecare co-manages cataract care with several trusted local eye surgeons. Come to us before and after your cataract surgery for comfortable, personalized care as we prepare you for your procedure and answer any questions you may have. After your cataract surgery, we’ll manage your post-operative follow-up schedule, helping to guide you through the healing process and helping you follow your surgeon’s recovery plan to ensure healthy healing and the full return of your functional vision.
Family Eyecare is here to make sure that cataracts don’t force you to miss the important moments in life. Call us today to schedule an appointment!