Cataracts services offered in Washington Heights, New York, NY

Blurry, cloudy vision is one of the most apparent signs of cataracts in aging adults. At Vistasite Optique in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, New York, experienced optometrist Vladimir Dvoretsky, OD, uses advanced diagnostic tools to detect cataracts before they progress and permanently impair your eyesight. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to protect your eyes from cataracts.

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. The lens is responsible for focusing light into the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye, called the retina. When the lens fogs, so does your vision. Cataracts can cause clouded vision, particularly at night.  

While the condition is usually gradual, early intervention can slow its progression. Cataracts typically affect both eyes, but they can develop in one faster than the other.

What are the signs of cataracts?

The signs of cataracts may be subtle at first, but your symptoms usually worsen over time. Cataract symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Prescription changes for glasses
  • Glares or halos around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Light sensitivity

Advanced cataracts can also change the way you see colors and cause certain hues to appear faded. Many people with cataracts also need brighter light when they read.

What causes cataracts?

A cataract develops when the proteins that help build your lens begin to deteriorate and accumulate in the eye’s liquid portion. As these proteins continue breaking down, they cause your vision to appear foggy and cloudy.

Cataracts are common in aging adults, as the proteins inside the eye’s lens naturally degrade with time. Certain factors can accelerate this process and increase your risk of cataracts, including:

  • Eye injuries
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Sun exposure
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Corticosteroids
  • Radiation therapy

Most people develop cataracts after age 40. While the condition is not always inherited, cataracts are more common in individuals whose close relatives also have the disease.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

Your optometrist at Vistasite Optique performs multiple tests to diagnose cataracts, including:

Visual acuity test

A visual acuity test involves reading letters and numbers from a chart at a distance. Your optometrist may ask you to cover your eyes one at a time to test them separately.

Retinal exam

During a retinal exam, your optometrist uses a device called an ophthalmoscope to view your retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye.

What are the treatments for cataracts?

Prescription lenses and lifestyle modifications, such as wearing sunglasses outside and avoiding driving at night, can slow the progression of cataracts. However, cataract surgery is the only way to permanently treat the condition. This procedure involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

Call Vistasite Optique or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about cataracts.