If your vision is starting to experience issues because you see a cloudiness when trying to look at something, you might have cataracts. This is common for older adults, though you can get it at any age. You might also be at a higher risk if you have diabetes or if someone in your family has experienced cataracts as well. Here are some things to know about the diagnosis and treatment process of this eye condition.
Tests That Look For Cataracts
The first thing you should know about diagnosis of cataracts is that there are a variety of tests to be performed. The initial test is simple and requires the optometrist to place eye drops into the eye and see how well the pupils dilate. Another test is called a retinal exam, which is also done when the pupils are dilated. When this occurs, the eye doctor can look into the back of the eye and look for signs of eye conditions, including cataracts and glaucoma. There is also the lit-lamp exam, where the cornea of the eyes are examined with a special type of microscope. Visual acuity tests may also tell the eye doctor a little more about the presence of cataracts.
What You Need to Do Before Treatment
Before you get treatment for the cataracts, your doctor will recommend you make some changes. To start with, you need to stop smoking cigarettes if you are a smoker. Smoking can reduce your ability to fight off infections since it reduces your immune system, so you need to stop as soon as possible. This will help to reduce the severity of the cataracts and help you have a smoother recovery period after cataract surgery. You will also be asked to read with brighter lights and to use a magnifying glass as needed. Make sure you are not driving at night until you have surgery to remove the cataracts.
The Treatment Options For Cataracts
The main way to treat cataracts is with surgery, but your eye doctor might first recommend corrective eyewear. You might be able to put a stop to the severity of the cataracts and restore your vision by wearing glasses or contacts. You will usually get bifocal eyeglasses so that you can see as well as possible, especially when in low-lighting conditions. If the eyewear doesn't help, you will likely need to have surgery. This will remove the clouded lens causing the disturbed vision and hopefully leave you with better vision after the recovery period.