As you age, you may notice that your vision becomes misty or colors might not seem as vibrant as they once did. These vision changes could be caused by cataracts, a condition where the lenses in your eyes become clouded. Mitchell C. Latter, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist in South Pasadena, California, provides expert diagnosis and treatments including conventional and laser surgery for cataracts. If you’re concerned about cataracts or your eye health, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

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What are cataracts?

You have a lens in each of your eyes that focuses light on your retina to provide clear vision. Cataracts occur when your lens becomes clouded as the proteins in it break down and clump together. Dr. Latter most often diagnoses cataracts in older patients, although you can develop cataracts at any age.

Cataracts typically develop slowly and cause symptoms such as:

  • Misty or blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Light sensitivity and glare disability
  • Faded or yellowed color vision
  • Need for brighter light to read

When cataracts first develop, you may not notice any change in your vision. However, cataracts grow and have a more significant impact on your sight. If you have a family history of cataracts or are concerned about your eye health, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Latter.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts develop when the aging process or an injury changes the tissue in your eye. For example, your lenses become thicker, less flexible, and the proteins that make up your lenses can break down and stick together. This scatters and blocks light, distorting your vision. In most cases, if you develop cataracts, both eyes are affected, although one eye may be more severely clouded than the other.

If a family member has cataracts, your risk of developing cataracts increases. Other conditions that influence your chances of cataracts include:

  • Health conditions like diabetes and hypertension
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Medications like corticosteroids

You can protect your vision by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, taking excellent care of your overall health, and having regular eye exams with Dr. Latter.

How are cataracts treated?

Once you’re diagnosed with cataracts, Dr. Latter carefully monitors the growth of your cataracts and your vision. When he’s no longer able to correct your vision with prescription lenses, he recommends cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common outpatient procedures performed in the United States. During the surgery, Dr. Latter removes your lens and replaces it with a new synthetic lens made from collamer, acrylic, silicone, or plastic. He performs both laser cataract surgeries and conventional no-stitch small incision procedures, with standard, multifocal, and toric (astigmatism-correcting) implants.

Call Dr. Latter’s office or schedule an appointment online today for a comprehensive eye exam and information about cataracts.