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What Are Cataracts?

What Are Cataracts?

You expect your eyes to change over time. You probably knew that at some point, you would likely need reading glasses to see small print. But there’s another ocular change that fewer people anticipate: cataracts.

While not as common as age-related farsightedness, cataracts are widespread. The National Eye Institute estimates that roughly half of all Americans will have to deal with cataracts by the time they turn 80. 

Fortunately, cataracts are treatable, and our team offers treatment right here at our New York City Benjamin Optical offices. To help you determine if you should come to us for cataract treatment and, if so, what to expect, let’s take a closer look.

Cataracts 101

Both of your eyes have a crystalline lens that your body uses to focus light properly into your retina, allowing you to see clearly. When you’re young, the lens is usually clear, although some people are born with lens problems. 

As you get older, though, the proteins in the lens start to break down and clump together, causing the lens to get cloudy. 

The proteins in the lenses of your eyes start to change around age 40, and many people first notice signs of a cataract around age 60. Some of the early signs of cataracts include:

You shouldn’t wait on addressing cataracts. Left to develop through the years, they can cause vision loss. But caught early, they’re highly treatable. 

If you notice any vision changes, come see us. We can diagnose cataracts, help you slow their development, and offer treatment to get rid of them entirely.

Treating cataracts

Our Benjamin Optical team offers a variety of cataract treatment options. In the beginning, we usually simply monitor the cataracts while helping you make changes to slow their progression. That includes wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and eyeglasses, increasing your eyeglass prescription as needed, and setting up more light around your home so you can more easily go about your day.

If the cataracts develop to the point where they interfere with your vision in a significant way, we may recommend intraocular lens (IOL) surgery to replace the clouded lens in your eye. After this procedure, you’ll be able to see clearly again. 

Cataracts are a normal, treatable eye condition — but addressing them early can help you protect your vision long-term. If you think you might have cataracts, call any of our offices for an appointment or book one online today. 

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