More than 2.5 million people have cataracts in Canada. The vast majority of those people are seniors. Although it can occur in anyone, it is far more likely to happen to older people and is the leading cause of treatable vision loss in seniors.
By the age of 60, virtually everyone has some degree of cataract development. The lens of the eye starts to become hard as it loses its flexibility and transparency. As the lens become cloudy, less light is allowed through, preventing the retina from receiving the light. This condition has been likened to looking through a foggy window.
Although diminished vision is often associated with aging, you do not have to let cataracts steal your eyesight.
Cataracts are hard to predict, they may develop slowly or very quickly. Some common symptoms as cataracts progress may include the following
If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an eye exam immediately so that we can diagnose the cataract and provide you with treatment options.
While cataracts may develop regardless of your lifestyle, certain risk factors are known to increase the prevalence of cataracts:
Surgery is the only way to treat a cataract. Cataract removal surgery is one of the safest and most effective ways to get rid of cataracts.
Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed of all types of surgeries. Though all surgeries involve some risk, cataract surgery is relatively safe and very low risk and is usually done with local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis. The procedure itself takes about 15-20 minutes and you may be on your feet within the hour. We wait until the benefits of the surgery outweigh any risks before referring you to a surgeon.
Our doctors will Monitor your condition with post-op follow ups and continue with regular exams.
If you’re a candidate for the surgery, our doctors will refer you to a trusted surgeon and will continue to monitor you with post-op visits and regular eye exams. Usually there will be a one day, one week, and one month follow up visit. At the one month visit your eye should be healed and stable enough to measure your new glasses prescription. Having cataracts removed will completely change your prescription for glasses. Almost everybody continues to require glasses of some kind in order to see clearly following cataract surgery.
Proactive optometry care can prevent cataracts.
Your exam is likely covered by your benefits provider.
Note that children under 19 and adults 65 and older are covered for annual eye exams. In addition, any Albertan with a medical eye concern such as a cataract will be covered for the diagnosis and treatment of that condition.
Like maintaining your car, preventative maintenance can dramatically reduce the likelihood of major eye diseases developing. In this case, we’re referring to regularly scheduled eye exams as the preventative maintenance of choice!
An eye exam is a simple, painless procedure that takes about an hour to complete. You should have an eye exam performed by an Optometrist every 12-24 months (kids under 18 and adults over 65 should have it done annually). This will give us a clear picture of your eye health and ensure that any concerns are identified and treated early, before they become a problem.