Cataracts

Roy Hyman, OD

Optometry located in Louisville, KY

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 24 million Americans, age 40 and older, have cataracts. The experienced optometry team at the practice of Roy Hyman, OD, in Louisville, Kentucky, recommends regular eye exams as a way to detect cataracts before they cause vision loss. Dr. Hyman has more than 45 years of experience keeping eyes healthy in patients of all ages. Book your appointment online or by phone today so you can learn more about cataracts and treatment solutions that restore your vision.

Cataracts Q & A

What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the clear lens in your eye becomes cloudy and distorts your vision. The three main types of cataracts are:

  • Nuclear cataracts that form in the center of your lens
  • Cortical cataracts that form as a wedge-shape around the outside of your lens
  • Subcapsular cataracts that form at the back of your lens

Cataracts usually start out very small, so you may not even realize you have any until they grow larger and affect your vision, making it hard to see clearly.

What are common symptoms of cataracts?

Some of the common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Difficulty seeing clearly at night
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Double vision in one eye
  • The yellowing or fading appearance of colors
  • Halos around lights
  • Blurry vision
  • Cloudy vision or areas that appear dim

The larger a cataract is, the more it clouds and distorts your vision until you can’t see clearly. Left untreated, cataracts can lead to vision loss. 

What causes cataracts?

Medical researchers aren't sure why, but cataracts tend to form as you age. It seems that for many people, as you get older, the protein in your eyes clumps together to form a clouded area on your lens. Over time, the clump of protein grows larger and affects your vision. 

Some of the most common risk factors that may accelerate the growth of a cataract include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Prolonged use of certain medications
  • Hormone replacement therapies
  • Previous eye injuries
  • Previous eye surgeries
  • Myopia (nearsightedness)

Heredity also plays a role in whether or not you may develop cataracts as you get older. If you have a family history of cataracts, you may be predisposed to developing them.

What is the treatment for cataracts?

The latest technology makes cataract treatment a fairly simple, highly effective surgical procedure. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens from your eye and replacing it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs come in a variety of options to correct your vision problems and allow you to see clearly again after cataract surgery. 

After cataract surgery, some men and women are able to see better than they have in years without being dependent on glasses. 

The best way to detect cataracts is with regularly scheduled eye exams. If it’s been more than a year since your last eye exam, or you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, call the office of Roy Hyman, OD, today to schedule an appointment. You can also book online.