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What are Cataracts? When Should You Contact an Eye Doctor?

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When the eyes natural lens becomes clouded with clumped up proteins then you are developing cataracts. These clumped proteins block light from entering the eye, which causes your vision to become increasingly blurrier over time and if left unresolved will result in the complete loss of your vision.

Clouded lenses will negatively impact your quality of life because you will be unable to drive, read, or do many other things that you would regularly do.

Cataracts typically develop pretty slowly and in the beginning, you likely will not even notice a difference in your vision. Over time, however, your sight will begin to get worse. Interestingly, there are times during the cataract development phase where your vision might even appear to be clearer, but if this happens it will likely only be for a short amount of time.

In the beginning, you can counteract the negative effects to your vision from cataracts with good lighting and prescription glasses, but you will need to eventually undergo a cataract surgery to completely remove the effects of cataracts from your vision. If not removed, the cataract will only grow larger and continue to cloud your vision worse and worse until your lens is completely blocked by proteins and you will no longer be able to see.

When should you call your eye doctor?

The only real way to detect cataracts early is by having routine eye exams with a trained eye doctor. Only a professional eye doctor can ensure your eyes remain in tip top shape and detect cataracts. If you experience a rapid decline in vision then you should immediately consult your eye care doctor and schedule an eye exam as this could be indicative of cataracts or other possible eye disease that requires medical attention.

Written by Dr. Ravi Nrusimhadevara

Dr. Ravi Nrusimhadevara graduated as an ophthalmologist and has been practicing since 1999. He underwent a fellowship in diseases of retina and vitreous at the University of Toronto. and thereafter started practicing in Saskatoon in 2004. His special interests are diseases of the retina, advanced cataract surgery, pupillary reconstructions, sutured and sutureless scleral fixation of intraocular lenses, and refractive surgery.

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