Cataract Awareness Month: Everything You Need To Know

Other than having to start wearing reading glasses when we’ve reached a “certain age,” the most traumatic impact aging will have on our eyes is the development of cataract. As we live longer lives, it is a safe estimation that more than half of the population will have developed at least one cataract by the age of 80. As depressing as that reality may seem, there is good news. Magruder Laser Vision, a vision correction facility in Orlando, is here to diagnose and provide treatment options to restore your vision!

So, what exactly is a cataract? There is a miraculous natural lens in your eye that provides focus for near and far-at least until our 40’s when presbyopia or Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome (DLS) sets in. The first sign is loss of reading vision. DLS progresses in many of us to Stage 2, when the lens changes begin to affect our distance vision so that people need glasses for all activities. The final stage of DLS, Stage 3, is the development of cataract when the natural lens becomes cloudy so that no glasses help us see.

Cataracts can be caused by other factors. Rarely, babies are born with cataracts or develop them in early childhood. These are called congenital cataracts and may require surgery if vision is severely affected. Traumatic cataracts, as you might guess, develop after sustaining an eye injury. These types of cataracts sometimes don’t appear immediately following an injury but take time to appear. If a cataract forms after eye surgery for glaucoma or other eye ailments, it is referred to as a secondary cataract. Radiation cataracts are the result of exposure certain types of radiation.

The most prevalent type of cataract is age-related, and recent studies indicate that there are several contributing risk factors for developing this type of cataract:

  • Diabetes

  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light

  • Prolonged use of steroidal medications

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Smoking

It should come as no surprise then that living a healthy lifestyle will help reduce the risk of developing cataract at an early age. Our doctors, Dr. Michael Shumski and Dr. G Brock Magruder, Jr., recommend that you quit smoking. They also strongly suggests that you always wear sunglasses to block ultraviolet light, especially since we live in Florida. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet that’s high in antioxidants which may reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Symptoms of cataract may include one or more of the following:

  • Cloudy and/or double vision.

  • Poor night vision, which may include a halo appearance around headlights or lamps.

  • Colors begin to seem washed out and/or faded.

  • Increased need to update prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses.

The skilled staff at Magruder Laser Vision will determine if you have a cataract by performing a thorough eye exam which will include dilation of your pupils to better view the retina and optic nerve. The pressure of your eye will also be determined, along with administration of a visual acuity test, to determine the strength of your vision. If you are diagnosed with a cataract, don’t worry. You are in the best hands possible!

Dr. Shumski will personally meet with you to discuss the treatment options available to restore your vision. Latest technological advances allow us to build a 3-D reconstructed image of your eye which provides us the ability to plan and carry out a highly-customized bladeless procedure specific to your needs. Don’t delay scheduling an appointment if you feel that you may be developing a cataract. Early diagnosis can help to keep your vision clear for years to come. To schedule an appointment call us at 407-843-5665.

We are Magruder Laser Vision — Correcting Eyes. Changing Lives.