Cataracts are opacities in the crystalline lens of the eye, which is just behind the iris (coloured part of your eye) . This opacity causes vision to become cloudy.
Cataracts occur as we age. The most common time is between ages 35-80. Cataracts may occur earlier if these conditions are present:
- family history
- chronic disease such as diabetes
- excessive use of steroid medications
- too much UV light exposure
In addition to experiencing “misty” vision, some other symptoms of cataracts include:
- excess glare,
- sensitivity to light,
- trouble seeing at night,
- and frequent changes of prescription.
The best way to guard against cataracts and most other eye conditions is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating food rich in antioxidants is often helpful because antioxidants help to cleanse harmful toxins from the body—including the eyes. Berries, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, soybeans, and apricots are just a few antioxidant-rich foods worth trying.
Unfortunately, there is no way to “eat or exercise away” cataracts. A healthy lifestyle is a smart preventative measure against cataracts, but it won’t reverse their effects.
Surgery is the most common and effective way to treat cataracts when a prescription doesn’t help. Cataract surgery is safe, highly successful, and the most common surgery performed in Canada. The surgeon will remove your clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL) to best address your individual vision needs. This outpatient procedure generally takes about 15 minutes.
Recovery time from cataract surgery is usually very short. Some people report clearer vision within 30 minutes of the procedure, but improvement might take weeks for others. Glasses worn before surgery will be become less strong after the surgery as the intraocular lens compensates for the prescription you may have had your whole life. We are happy to provide details about what to expect before, during, and after cataract surgery.