Living with Cataracts: What You Should Know
Aging is an unavoidable part of life that most of us have come to accept. You can get over the fine lines, creaky joints and occasional hot flashes. However, no matter how accepting you are of your age, it’s still hard to hear these three words: “You have cataracts.”
Cataracts are often considered as much a part of aging as wrinkles and age spots. That doesn’t make the diagnosis any easier though. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, it is common to not know what to do next. You aren’t alone in feeling lost. Luckily, you have Dr. Parkhurst in San Antonio to help you every step of the way.
As you make a plan for your cataracts, here are some things you should know.
Cataracts Are Extremely Common
Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness in the world. According to a study done in 2010, one in three blind people are blind due to cataracts. Despite advances in technology and wider access to appropriate care, cataracts remain a huge factor in worldwide blindness and visual impairment.
Cataracts don’t discriminate. While it is most common for a person over the age of 50 to be diagnosed, cataracts can happen to anyone. Cataracts can affect children, adults, women, men and people of all backgrounds.
You should never feel bad about being diagnosed with cataracts, as it is unlikely that anything you did or didn’t do led to your diagnosis. While there are certain risk factors involved, cataracts are largely unpreventable.
They Are Slow to Progress
When people are diagnosed with cataracts, they don’t always present symptoms. Early cataracts are almost unnoticeable to you, but can be detected a comprehensive eye exam. Most cataracts gradually develop over a period of years. The progression of your cataracts largely depends on your overall health and lifestyle. This is different for everyone.
There is no completely proven method of cataract prevention. While there is nothing you can do to stop cataracts short of surgery, there is some evidence that a healthy and active lifestyle can slow the progression.
They Can Cause Severe Vision Loss
While cataracts are operable and most patients are able to lead completely normal lives, some may experience severe vision loss and blindness. Cataracts do not always lead to total blindness, but it is not uncommon. This can happen over the course of a few years or it can take decades.
Vision loss due to cataracts can be life-altering. Patients who are able to undergo cataract surgery are encouraged to do so once vision loss starts to affect their everyday lives. If you are unable or unwilling to undergo cataract surgery for whatever reason, you should consider finding a low vision therapist.
There Are Resources Available
If you decide to forego cataract surgery, you run the risk of living with partial or total blindness. However, you do have resources should you take this route. Finding a low vision specialist can greatly increase your independence should you experience vision loss. They will assist you in finding the right low vision aids to help you read and navigate, as well as cope with this life-altering change.
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts and are wondering where to go from here, try scheduling an appointment with Dr. Parkhurst in San Antonio, TX. When it comes to your vision, you want to make sure you are in the best hands possible. Dr. Parkhurst is a leading ophthalmologist with years of experience and success under his belt.
Considering cataract surgery? Look no further than Parkhurst NuVision. Contact our San Antonio location to schedule your cataract surgery consultation, or request an appointment online!