About Cataracts near Kansas City, KS

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What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a common eye problem that often starts after age 60. It happens when the clear lens inside your eye gets cloudy, making your vision worse over time. If not treated, they can lead to total blindness. In fact, cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed in the United States.

At Heart of America Eye Care, we have experienced teams in Shawnee Mission, Overland Park, and Belton who can diagnose and manage cataracts, even when they're just starting. Sometimes, in the early stages, you might not even know you have cataracts because they develop slowly. That's why we recommend getting a thorough eye checkup every other year to keep your eyes healthy.

Don't wait! Call one of our locations in Kansas or Missouri today to schedule your eye checkup and learn more about cataracts. Your vision is important to us, and we're here to help you take care of it.

What Are the Causes of Cataracts?

A cataract is an unavoidable product of the age-related, natural breaking down of the proteins of the eye's lens. This process happens in everyone, but there are further behavioral and medical issues that can speed up the process. Lifestyle factors, for example, smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, and extended sun exposure, have been associated with cataracts, as have some medical conditions like diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Other factors that could impact the process include:

  • Genetics
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Certain types of eye surgery
  • Degenerative myopia
  • Prescription or nonprescription use of steroids

What Are the Risk Factors of Cataracts?

There are certain factors that may put a person at an increased risk for cataracts. Some of these factors include:

  • Age (between 40 – 50 years old)
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Familial history of cataracts
  • Previous eye injuries
  • Previous eye surgeries

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The typical first symptom of cataracts is increasingly blurred eyesight that isn’t sharpened by a patient’s current glasses prescription. Most patients start to notice they require brighter light to read. Other symptoms include limited night vision, noticing more glare or halos, and seeing with a general yellowish tint. Cataracts don’t cause pain and can be there for several years before they lead to vision disturbances. For most patients, the condition starts to develop somewhere between the ages of 40 – 50, although many people don’t suffer from any cataract symptoms before their 60s.

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

To diagnose an individual with a cataract, an eye doctor has to do an in-depth eye exam. Our team at Heart of America Eye Care, P.A. diagnose cataracts thorough cataract exams. The most effective tests to check for a cataract are all generally easy, quick, and cause little to no discomfort.

To start, we will carry out a simple vision test. This is usually done with an eye chart, which most people are familiar with. Next, we may conduct a contrast sensitivity test. A contrast test is very similar to a vision test, except it gauges how well you can perceive contrast. Following the acuity and contrast tests, a slit-lamp exam is typically done. During a slit-lamp exam, a special microscope that shines a strong but narrow “slit” of light into the eye is used to observe its outermost structures. Finally, we will perform a retinal exam.

In order to do these tests, dilating the pupils is required. Dilation of the pupils is key because it allows the best possible view to check the entire surface of the lens for any cataracts. If a cataract is found, then a potential acuity meter (PAM) exam may be performed. PAM checks for potential clarity of vision without the cataract. The potential acuity exam can be particularly important in choosing an IOL if the you decide to have cataract surgery.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

If we find that you have cataracts, we'll discuss the treatment options with you. The choice of treatment depends on how far the cataracts have progressed. In the early stages, you might do just fine with new glasses or contact lenses. These can help improve your vision.

However, if your cataracts have advanced and are causing significant vision problems, you might need cataract surgery. We're pleased to offer this option at our surgical center in Prairie Village, KS.

Our eye doctors are committed to giving each patient personalized care tailored to the stage of their cataracts. We'll work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

Clear Vision After Cataracts

If you're over 40, it's a good idea to schedule a comprehensive eye exam every two years. This helps us catch issues like cataracts and other eye problems early on. With a proper diagnosis, we can create a customized plan to manage your cataracts, allowing you to continue enjoying life to the fullest.

Feel free to get in touch with us at one of our locations in Shawnee Mission, Overland Park, or Belton. We'll be happy to explain how we can help you with cataracts. Your vision matters to us!

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