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What are the Symptoms and Causes of Cataracts?

What are cataracts? 

Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of one or both eyes, which can cause your vision to become blurry or even dull in color. Vision occurs when a clear lens behind your eye’s iris transfers light and processes that information to form a picture. Unfortunately, when eye cataracts are present, the cloudy lens strains the brain’s ability to process the image. In addition to cloudy and blurry vision eye cataracts can cause:

  • Sensitivity to bright lights, including both the sun and artificial lights
  • An ongoing need to change both eyeglass and contact prescriptions
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Diffraction (a halo effect around lights) 
  • An overall change to the way you see colors 

 What causes cataracts?

Eyes are composed mainly of water and proteins, and those proteins can break down and clump together as you get older, eventually causing cataracts. Although age is the most common factor in developing eye cataracts, other risk factors can contribute to the diagnosis, including

  • Health problems (diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure)
  • A family history of eye disease
  • Extensive sun exposure (not wearing proper protection, i.e., sunglasses, hats, etc.) 
  • Eye injuries (impact, heat and chemical burns, splinters) 

How to prevent cataracts

Although there are no proven ways to prevent cataracts, doctors believe the following habits could help avoid this condition

  • Wearing proper protection such as sunglasses or wide-brim hats (even in cloudy weather) 
  • Consuming foods high in vitamin C and D (oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, almonds) 
  • Scheduling routine eye exams (at least once every two years) 
  • Quitting smoking
  • Cutting back on alcohol use
  • Using brighter lamps when reading to prevent eye strain

How to treat cataracts

Eventually, you may reach a point where the symptoms of a cataract are starting to affect your day-to-day life. When this happens, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately for a dilation. Your doctor can determine how much your vision is blocked by widening and examining your pupil. Based on your doctor’s findings, it’s possible that they may recommend surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the U.S. Prior to the start of surgery, you will undergo anesthesia and receive numbing eye drops. The amount of anesthesia will ensure that you stay awake but do not feel any pain. During surgery, an ophthalmologist will start by removing the damaged lens. Then, using an artificial implant personalized to your vision needs, the doctor will place the new lens into your eye. After surgery, it’s common to feel mild discomfort or itching, but after about three weeks, symptoms should be fully healed, and you can now enjoy your new and improved vision!

Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.