With age, the lens in your eye can become clouded by what is called a cataract. Cataracts can impair your vision and cause you to experience glare in strong light. Early-stage cataracts can be treated by fairly simple modifications such as corrective lenses, adjusting lighting, or using a magnifying glass.
As cataracts advance, surgery may be needed. Cataract surgery is done to remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with a synthetic lens. Typically, these surgeries can be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you go home the same day as your procedure. After surgery, most people experience improved vision at one month with others experiencing improvement much sooner.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults. It occurs when diabetes harms blood vessels inside the eye. When the vessels become weak, they leak fluid into an area of the eye called the retina. Weak new vessels can break and bleed into the retina. Weak old vessels can leak and cause swelling causing blurry, distorted vision. But there may be no symptoms, which is why it’s important if you have diabetes to get regular eye exams.
Treatment for your diabetic retinopathy may slow its progress. If diagnosed, your doctor may first choose to monitor the condition or may perform tests to see if special treatments are needed, such as:
- Laser treatment
- Cryotherapy (the use of extreme cold)
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause blindness. If caught early, it can usually be controlled. But it often has no symptoms, so regular eye exams are needed to catch it early. Glaucoma usually begins when pressure builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is important because it sends messages to the brain so that you can see.
Treatment can prevent or limit your vision loss from glaucoma. Options include eye drops and medications to lower the pressure in the eye. For some, surgical or laser treatments are necessary to drain the eye.