Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million U.S. residents who are at least 40 years old. By the time they reach age 75, approximately half of Americans have them. Since no studies have proven how to prevent them, the best way to protect your vision is by scheduling regular vision exams with Dr. Kirkconnell.

Development of Cataracts

A cataract consists of an accumulation of protein on the lens of the eye. For individuals with cataracts, vision resembles looking through a frosty window. This makes it difficult to read, drive at night, or clearly see someone’s face.

While only one eye might be affected, it is common to have a cataract in each. Risk factors include:

  • Advancing age
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Prior eye injury or inflammation
  • Prior eye surgery
  • Extended use of corticosteroids
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

In its early stages, a cataract might not disturb eyesight. Dr. Kirkconnell notes that many patients are surprised by a diagnosis because a cataract is not yet advanced enough for them to recognize symptoms such as:

  • Dim, blurred, or cloudy vision
  • Growing difficulty seeing at night
  • Light and glare sensitivity
  • Needing brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Perceiving halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in lens prescriptions
  • Yellowing or fading of colors
  • Double vision in one eye

Treatment by Dr. James Kirkconnell

The only way to cure a cataract is to remove the lens on which it forms. Our practice treats cataracts based on the degree of visual impairment they create. For a patient whose vision is only minimally affected, the appropriate therapy might be regular monitoring.

Monitoring includes regular vision exams, which include cataract screenings. Patients might expect to undergo an eye refraction, eye pressure measurements, and color vision and glare sensitivity tests. Dr. Kirkconnell also assesses your lens and retina and takes visual acuity measurements.

To deal with vision changes, our practice can update prescriptions for corrective lenses and recommend special lens coatings and visual aids to help with everyday activities.

Once cataracts impair vision to the point that performing everyday tasks is difficult, our doctor usually recommends surgery. The surgeon removes the lens on which a cataract resides and replaces it with an artificial one.

Schedule an Exam Today!

Vision is precious. Protect yours by scheduling regular vision exams with our optometrist, Dr. James Kirkconnell. Bellevue Eyecare in Nashville will provide high-quality eye and vision services for every member of your family. Call us today at (615) 662-7588 to schedule your next exam.