Keep an eye open for cataracts
AMatamata optometrist is advocating those aged 45 years and over to regularly visit their local optometrist to reduce the risk of undetected sight threatening conditions.
Matamata Visioncare optometrist Mike Farrell advises that regular eye exams can help detect conditions like cataracts, one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people.
‘‘The most common cause of cataracts is ageing and they most commonly affect people over 45,’’ Mr Farrell said.
‘‘As cataracts generally get worse, it is important to be aware of the symptoms, so that the condition can be treated early.’’
Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes increasingly opaque, resulting in ‘‘foggy’’ vision.
Although cataracts are caused by the aging process, diabetes, steroid use, or exposure to sunlight can make them worse.
‘‘Someone with early stages may notice a ‘film’ in their everyday vision. Often things that used to look black and white begin to look grey, and colours seem dull. In the early stages, new spectacles may help but as the cataract gets worse, spectacles usually do not offer any significant improvement.’’
‘‘The changes can be gradual: vision becomes ‘foggier’, less detail is seen, reading becomes slower, television isn’t perfectly clear and driving becomes difficult when driving in the sun. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit your local optometrist for a check-up.’’
Technological advancements in recent years have resulted in improved outcomes for those who develop cataracts.
The most effective treatment for cataracts is surgery.
The procedure, which generally lasts 30 minutes, involves replacing the cloudy lens with an artificial one.
In most cases the patient is able to return home shortly after the procedure.
Get checked: Matamata Visioncare optometrist Mike Farrell says regular eye exams can help detect conditions like cataracts which, is one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people.