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What Are Cataracts and How Can I Tell if I Have Them?

Posted by  On 11-04-2022

There was a time when a cataract diagnosis was a devastating thing to receive. With modern medicine and laser cataract surgery in Toronto, cataracts can now be treated safely and effectively.

At Clearview Vision Institute, we work with patients across the Greater Toronto Area, diagnosing and treating cataracts. Our low-risk laser cataract surgery allows for speedy healing and reduced discomfort with the hope of clear vision once more. 

Here, we’ll talk about cataracts, what they are, how they’re treated, and why laser cataract surgery in Toronto might be right for you. 

What are cataracts and how do they develop?

Cataracts are a slowly developed clouding of the eye lens resulting in blurry vision. They can be remedied by laser cataract surgery. 

When cataracts begin, glasses may help, but eventually, the blurred vision becomes too much to combat with corrective eyewear alone. Along with the clouded lenses, cataracts can cause symptoms such as:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing colours with a halo or faded effect
  • Double vision

There are many things that could lead to cataracts, including age, genetics, diabetes, high blood pressure, lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol, or an injury. The cloudiness occurs because of the breaking down of fibers and proteins in the eye lens. Cataracts can appear in the center of the eye lens, the edges of the lens, or the back of the lens. 

Location and type of cataract may play a role in its physical appearance. Some appear yellow or brown in colour. The earlier your doctor diagnoses your cataracts, the better. 

Diagnosing Cataracts

Once cataracts reach a certain stage, they are obvious to notice without much in the way of testing. However, you can test for early signs of cataracts by visiting your eye doctor regularly. They will perform visual acuity tests to see how your vision is doing. 

Your doctor may also call for slit lamp exams, which use a microscope to illuminate your cornea and lens in small sections to check for abnormalities. If cataracts are suspected, your doctor may test fluid pressure in your eyes with applanation tonometry, or perform a retinal exam with drops to dilate your pupils and check the retina with an ophthalmoscope.

Once diagnosed, your eye doctor can sit down and discuss a treatment plan with you. There are several options for treatment of cataracts, although laser cataract surgery is the least invasive and quickest to heal.

Treating Cataracts in Toronto

Cataracts won’t go away on their own. The traditional treatment for cataracts is called phacoemulsification. During this procedure, a small incision is made, and an ultrasonic probe is used to break down the lens into an emulsified substance. This is suctioned out and a lens implant is positioned. The procedure uses local anesthesia, either injected into the eye or applied topically as drops to the eye prior to surgery. 

While this treatment method has proved successful for many, laser cataract surgery in Toronto offers a less invasive solution. At Clearview Vision Institute, our team specializes in laser cataract surgery and recommends it whenever a patient is a good candidate. 

Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser cataract surgery is a blade-free surgical procedure offering high-precision incisions and a gentle touch. Laser surgery is highly accurate and safer than traditional surgery in many ways. Many patients have improved visual results, shorter healing times, and a reduced risk of infection. The incision made with the laser is self-healing and means less downtime following your surgery.

Laser cataract surgery is low risk, but like all surgical procedures, there are some things to consider, including the potential for dry eyes, some discomfort after surgery, and corneal swelling. Clearview Vision Institute follows up with patients post-surgery to monitor side effects like these. 

Because of the advanced technology and attention to detail, Clearview Vision Institute has a high success rate with cataract laser surgery. Many of our patients say they don’t even need reading glasses following the surgery. Although, individual results vary and depend on eyesight prior to cataracts. 

Preventing Cataracts

Cataract prevention isn’t always guaranteed. For some, age and genetics have a way of catching up. However, there are some things you can do to be proactive in avoiding cataracts, including:

  • Lifestyle changes: Smoking and drinking both have links to cataracts and other eye health issues. Quitting these habits can help prevent cataracts from occurring. 
  • Regular eye checkups: The average Canadian adult should get an eye exam once every two years unless your doctor suggests otherwise. Receiving regular exams lets your eye doctor keep tabs on any potential threats, including early signs of cataracts. 
  • Protect your eyes: UV rays from the sun are harmful to the eyes and could have links to cataracts. Wear your sunglasses when going out on a sunny day to keep your eyes safe. 
  • Eat foods rich in antioxidants: Dark-coloured vegetables and fruits, such as spinach, carrots, berries, and pomegranates are loaded with healthy nutrients and antioxidants with eye benefits. 

If you notice changes to your vision, speak to your eye doctor as soon as possible. There are many other issues, apart from cataracts, which could present themselves. Catching eye disorders early is the best way to prevent lasting damage and ensure clear vision for years to come. 

Contact Clearview Vision Institute Today

Interested in learning more about laser cataract surgery in Toronto? Clearview Vision Institute can help. Our team is well-versed in cataracts and all the diagnosis and treatment measures available. We can walk you through traditional and laser treatments to help you decide which might be best for you. 

Cataracts require treatment to be fixed, but they don’t need to be a lifelong problem. Don’t let cataracts hold you back from doing the things you enjoy, or seeing the people you love. You can see the world clearly with cataract laser surgery. 

To properly recommend treatment for cataracts, a one-on-one appointment is necessary. We invite you to schedule yours by calling us at 1-647-493-6371 or visiting us online.

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