June Is Cataract Awareness Month

What is a cataract?

A cataract forms when the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. For most people, this naturally happens as we age. However, cataracts can also form as the result of trauma (ex. car accident, sports injury, etc.), prolonged steroid use, diabetes, previous eye surgery, or other factors. Cataract surgery is the most effective treatment.

What are some symptoms of cataracts?

The most common symptom people notice is cloudy vision, which is typically compared to looking through a dirty or foggy window. Some people notice that colors look dull or faded. It may also become more difficult to drive at night, or you may need to be closer to road signs to see them clearly. Some people start to have trouble reading, painting, threading a needle, or doing other fine detail work. It’s common for people to need more, or brighter, light in order to see better. Increased glare can make it difficult for you to see past the headlights of an oncoming car, or it may be difficult to follow a golf ball after you hit it. Changing your glasses prescription may do little to improve your vision. You may also notice a lack of clarity through contact lenses.

What should you do if you think you have cataracts? When should you consider having surgery?

The only way to know for certain if your vision is being affected by cataracts is to be seen by an eye doctor. If you’ve never been diagnosed with cataracts, your first step would be to have a comprehensive eye exam. If you’ve already been diagnosed and were told that surgery may be an option, your next step is to have a cataract evaluation with an ophthalmologist. If your daily activities are being affected by cataracts, it may be time to consider surgery.

What should you expect during a cataract evaluation?

At the Kelly Eye Center, a cataract evaluation is about a 2-hour long appointment. Your eyes will be dilated as part of this exam. First, you will meet with two of our technicians who will obtain a series of measurements. These measurements are used to determine the overall health of your eyes, and are used in our calculations for the surgery itself. Next, Dr. Kelly will perform an exam and discuss the different surgical options that are available to you. Lastly, you will meet with our surgical coordinator who will help schedule your surgery, and go over any financial estimates we have.

Want to know more?

In observance of Cataract Awareness Month, the Kelly Eye Center will be offering complimentary cataract screenings with our technicians from June 20th-24th. These screenings will be available to patients over 50 years old. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a cataract screening, please contact Kara by phone at (919)282-1115 or by email at kara@kellyeyecenter.com. Space is limited.

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