Aging doesn’t guarantee that you will develop cataracts in one or both eyes. But as an often age-related condition, your risk certainly increases with age. Fortunately, it’s a highly treatable condition and can often be managed without surgery as a first step. Regular eye examinations are an important part of the early detection of cataracts […]
Aging doesn’t guarantee that you will develop cataracts in one or both eyes. But as an often age-related condition, your risk certainly increases with age. Fortunately, it’s a highly treatable condition and can often be managed without surgery as a first step.
Regular eye examinations are an important part of the early detection of cataracts because they often begin developing with little to no symptoms. And if you’re wondering whether you can have a cataract in one eye, the answer is yes. However, once you have a cataract, the chances are high that it won’t stop at one eye.
What Are Cataracts?
Our eyes have clear lenses that transmit light into the retina with minimal scattering. For many people, this lens grows cloudy or even changes color and becomes opaque over time; this is a cataract.
Several types of cataracts can begin in different areas of the lens. For example, some begin at the edge of your lens. These often go undiagnosed in their early development and can actually temporarily improve your reading vision. Or, you can have them develop in the center of the lens or behind it. Both of these types will change your vision quicker and more drastically.
The other possibility is a congenital cataract which is a cataract that affects young children. Sometimes a child is born with a cataract because of a genetic predisposition. Other times they develop them very early in life, possibly due to infection or eye trauma.
Can You Have a Cataract in One Eye?
It’s 100% possible that you may develop a cataract in one eye. In addition, they are not an infectious disease, so they won’t spread to the other like an infection. However, in most cases of a person developing a cataract in one eye, they will almost always get one in the other eye too.
The other possibility is that you develop cataracts in both eyes simultaneously, But it’s possible they won’t grow at the same rate. This is another reason that cataracts often go undetected without an eye examination. When the cataract is worse in one eye, the other eye can sometimes overcompensate for vision loss so that you don’t notice it.
Risk Factors for Cataracts
Age is a significant risk factor for cataracts. In fact, more than 50% of Americans over the age of 80 have cataracts or have had them removed with surgery. But age isn’t the only thing that increases our risk of developing cataracts.
Here are several things that can contribute to developing cataracts:
- Smoking (also a contributing factor to other eye conditions like glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Exposure to the sun without adequate UV protection
- Steroidal medications
- Family history of cataracts
- Underlying health issues like diabetes or heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Eye trauma or a previous surgery
Obviously, we can’t prevent aging, which is a major cause of cataracts, but some things you can do to reduce your risk of cataracts are:
- Regular eye examinations are the best proactive prevention
- Quitting smoking
- Proper management of other health issues like diabetes
- A healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
- Wearing sunglasses with adequate UVA/UVB protection
- Reducing alcohol consumption
In many cases, especially in the early development of cataracts, the condition can be managed without surgery. For example, a change in prescription for your glasses or contact lenses can sometimes compensate for vision loss.
Additionally, increasing light for activities like reading can also help. However, when the point comes that the cataracts are affecting your ability to perform your daily activities, it’s probably time to chat with your ophthalmologist about your surgical options.
During cataract surgery, the eye doctor removes the old, cloudy lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL).
The IOL is one of the primary factors determining the result of cataract surgery. A common and typically the cheapest option is a regular IOL that is custom-shaped to fit your unique cornea. However, there are some options on the market where an IOL is made to correct one or more focal points.
Not everyone is a candidate, though. So, your best bet is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. Once they’ve taken eye measurements during a cataract surgery consultation, they can present your available options to you and explain the pros and cons of each.
Find Out More About Your Options
Don’t let cataracts control your life. Give our office a shout today if you’ve noticed any unusual symptoms or if it’s time for your next comprehensive eye exam. Our helpful and knowledgeable staff at Griffey Eye Care are available to answer all your questions. And they are happy to book you in for a time that’s convenient for you.
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Maintaining sound eye care habits is essential to eye health, whether you’re keeping up with your doctors on the latest procedures or practicing good eye health habits. Dealing with cataracts is one of those crucial eye health procedures you can monitor. But does everyone get cataracts? Let’s explore what cataracts are, their symptoms, risk factors, […]
Cataract: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Dottie noticed changes in her vision when she found herself constantly cleaning her glasses, “I thought there was something wrong with the glasses but later found out that it was the cataract.” Dottie’s changes in her vision were gradual and she didn’t realize how bad the cataract had affected her vision. “It gradually comes on […]
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Poor night vision. Cloudy or blurry images. Unpleasant glare from car headlights. Although most people who have symptoms of cataracts are over the age of 80, many people begin to notice these vision changes when they are in their forties. “Younger people can have cataracts, too, especially diabetics,” said Dr. Paul M. Griffey, a third-generation […]
I recently went to my family doctor for pain I’d been having in my eye that was moving down my neck. I’d been waiting to have an MRI scheduled, and it was taking forever. I wanted to get a second opinion about what course of action should be taken. My husband and daughter are both patients at this practice and have always received stellar treatment. Dr. Griffey took very good care of me and went the extra step to send a letter to my family doctor while I was still there to concur with what they had said and also confirm that he would suggest an MRI as well. I was very impressed with him and his patient care. And, I appreciate the staff (particularly Tara and Benita) in scheduling me in as soon as possible. I would highly recommend this practice! Thank you all again for your help.
I was referred to Dr. Griffey by several people. I was told he was an excellent ophthalmologist, and they were right. This was my first time meeting him and he made me feel so safe, comfortable and confident that he was providing me with the best and most knowledgeable treatment I could ask for. As I sat in the chair, I observed him interact with a baby he kissed on the forehead, it was so special to see him do that because it showed a gentle side of him, and his interaction with his assistants was nice, professional and straight to the point of what he needed in order to help his patient, I remember him saying to one of them that he was not going to let me leave until he reviewed a report from another doctor about my condition and that really made me feel special because it showed his concern. I don’t think I could have asked for a better doctor. Thank you Dr. Griffey for being the best and hats off to your father and grandfather.
I had a wonderful first appointment. The staff is attentive and the techs and doctors are knowledgeable and take their time really getting to know their patients. So happy to have found them.
I travel from Atlanta, Georgia to see Dr. Griffey, MD, and board certified Ophthalmologist. Dr. Griffey has performed two surgeries on me and I would trust him to do anything he deems necessary. The staff is fantastic and I would recommend Dr. Griffey, to all that needed to see a competent Ophthalmologist!!!
I want to thank everyone at Chesapeake Eye Care for their care on a recent visit. I had an accident involving my eye and even though they were booked, the receptionist worked me in that day. The technician and Dr. Fox saw me promptly and performed a thorough exam. I was very pleased with both of them and appreciated their kindness and professionalism.
My dad had cataract surgery a couple years ago. I was a little nervous for him, he’d been resisting getting surgery for so long. However, the staff and Dr. Griffey were wonderful to him and everything went very smoothly. He had a great experience, and I am thankful to them for making him so comfortable.
The best thing I ever did was get LASIK surgery; it is unbelievable how I can see 20/20. When I get in bed at night I still think … wait….no, I don’t have to take my contacts out and it’s been 3 months. It was wonderful in Mexico also with not having to worry about contacts and all the solutions to bring with me. I had an amazing experience with my LASIK surgery with Dr. Paul Griffey and his staff! I would definitely recommend him to friends and family!!!
I sent my mom to Dr. Griffey for a 2nd opinion on her eyes. Years later, I am still satisfied with the care he has provided. She had an appointment today and Dr. Griffey called me personally to discuss my concerns. WOW!!!!! GREAT PROVIDER!!!!!! I also referred my dad to him after a bad cataract surgery elsewhere. Dr Griffey did his 2nd eye without complications. THANK YOU for taking care of my parents! I have 30+ years in the business as a licensed optician and have worked with many doctors, I would recommend Dr. Griffey to any patient for care!!!!!!!!!!
I have been a patient of Dr. Griffey, since 2012. I’m born, raised, formal education, retired Law Enforcement, City of Virginia Beach, VA. After moving to Atlanta, I felt I could not find the care I needed, so I travel back and forth to receive my care. I will not allow anyone to see me. Well worth the trip, and will continue to do so!
Thank you for being The Best…
We both underwent cataract surgery, in both eyes. Barbara’s was in September of 2018. Mine was in December 2018. We both had excellent experiences, from her first visit, to my last. Dr. Griffey, as well as everyone on his staff, (that we came in contact with), were prompt and very professional. Yet, at the same time they were relaxed and very friendly. We were very impressed that everyone, asked, if we had any questions.
And, we can both see 20/20 again!!.
There was an general atmosphere of confidence and calmness throughout his practice, as well as within the Chesapeake Surgical Center. That made us both feel very comfortable, and well cared for. We have never before experienced such a well run practice. We have, (and will continue to), highly recommend Dr. Griffey to anyone who needs eye care.
Barbara and Eddie
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