By Dr. Mary Szatowski
December 17, 2014
Category: Ophthalmology
Tags: Cataracts  

As an eye doctor for the residents of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, Dr. Mary cares for patients with cataracts, a condition that causes your vision to become cloudy. While she treats cataracts, she greatly emphasizes the importance of preventive care and regular eye exams as a means to stop cataracts from developing.

While aging and family history of cataracts are risk factors for this vision problem that you cannot avoid, there are other risk factors you can. This includes excess sun exposure. Of particularly high risk are young people who are exposed to the sun at an early age. This means that wearing hats and ultraviolet-protective sunglasses are important, even for young people.

What Else Increases the Risk of Cataracts? 
Habits such as excessive drinking and smoking have been known to slightly increase the risk of developing cataracts. And medical conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are also linked to cataracts. Dr. Mary can discuss these and other potential risks with you at your next eye appointment.

Medication may also be a factor to cataracts. Patients with autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, often take medications known as corticosteroids. These are anti-inflammatory medications that are necessary to reduce a condition’s symptoms, but are associated with increased risk for cataracts.

Schedule Your Regular Eye Exam 
Regular eye exams at Dr. Mary’s office are vital to early intervention of cataracts. And we also caution patients of early signs, such as:
·      Blurry vision
·      Night glares
·      Sensitivity to light

While cataract development is not considered a medical emergency, it is a serious condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, Dr. Mary can help determine the best course of treatment and potential intervention for cataracts. Early cataract symptoms are often treated with a new glasses prescription that will improve vision. If the cataracts gets worse over time, treatments can include cataract surgery, which removes the affected lens. Dr. Mary then replaces this damaged lens with an intraocular lens. The procedure does not require a hospital stay. 

If you suspect you may have a cataracts or it has been some time since you have visited an eye doctor in Chicago or surrounding Chicago suburbs, call our office at (312) 332-4296.