Comprehensive Exams and Effective Cataract Treatment


As people age, many of them develop cataracts. If left untreated, cataracts obstruct vision and can eventually lead to blindness. However, there are many optometry options to deal with cataracts. At Urban Eyecare, we offer cataract examinations and eye care choices for West Des Moines residents. Here’s what you need to know:

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts in younger people are relatively rare. They can develop after an injury, as a side effect of certain medications, or from untreated diabetes.

Among seniors, cataracts are much more common. They typically develop as a result of sunlight exposure. Over many years, exposure to ultraviolet light can cause cataracts to form. Avoiding overexposure to sunlight, such as by wearing UV filtering sunglasses when outside, may help delay the development of cataracts. However, this is not a guarantee.

What Are the Risk Factors for Cataracts?

Age is one of the main risk factors for cataracts, but a number of health factors can increase that risk including:

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • previous eye injuries
  • previous eye surgeries
  • certain medications

What Are the Symptoms?

Early on, cataracts have minimal effects to your vision. However, your sight will slowly worsen as the condition progresses. You may notice:

  • changes in your eyeglasses prescription
  • light sensitivity
  • difficulty seeing or driving at night
  • halos around lights
  • colors appearing faded
  • double vision
  • requiring brighter lamps around the house

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

During your annual eye exam, your optometrist will discuss what symptoms (such as those above) you’ve experienced. She may test your visual acuity and note any changes. Your optometrist can also perform an exam to illuminate your eyes and potentially see the cataracts, either through the use of slit lamps or a dilated retinal exam.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

In the early stages, you may be given stronger eyeglass prescriptions. You may also be able to work with your primary care provider to take control of other health conditions, like diabetes, that could contribute to this problem.

Once your vision has worsened enough to interfere with your everyday life, cataract treatment generally involves surgery. The clouded lens in your eye will be replaced with a clear, artificial lens. This lens will be selected to fit your needs. For instance, if you have astigmatism, a lens of the appropriate shape can correct this issue.

Optometry Solutions for Your Cataracts

At Urban Eyecare and Eyewear in West Des Moines, we’re committed to taking care of your vision at every stage of life. If you’re concerned that you may be developing cataracts or some other vision issue, make an appointment with us today at (515) 223-1000.


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