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Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions

Steps to Prevent AMD

These preventive steps may help keep AMD at bay:

  • Eat more leafy green vegetables and fish.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly. Get treatment if your blood pressure is too high.

Your Eyes and Cataracts

A cataract is an eye condition in which the eye's normally clear lens becomes cloudy. It eventually occurs in both eyes but may be more noticeable in one eye first. Since less light passes through a cloudy lens, vision blurs. Cataracts are small at first and may not affect vision. But the denser they grow, the more they affect your vision.

Most cataracts are due to aging. Other risk factors include:

  • Diseases, like diabetes
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • Eye surgery for another problem.
  • Inheritance or pregnancy-related causes (Babies can be born with cataracts or develop them in childhood.)
  • Overexposure of eyes to the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications

Who's at Risk for Cataracts?

The risk increases with age. Other risk factors for cataracts include:

  • Environmental -- such as overexposure to sunlight
  • Lifestyle -- including smoking and alcohol use
  • People who have certain diseases -- including diabetes

Symptoms of Cataracts

The most common cataract symptoms include:

Treatment of Cataracts

For early cataracts, these steps may help:

  • Getting a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Using brighter lighting
  • Using magnifying lenses
  • Wearing sunglasses

If cataracts interfere with everyday activities, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. Surgical cataract removal is one of the most common, safest, and most effective types of surgery done in the U.S. Delaying cataract surgery until it interferes with your quality of life is appropriate and won't harm your eyes.

If you choose surgery, you'll be referred to an ophthalmologist who can perform the surgery, if you don't already have one. During the procedure, the eye surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial clear lens. If both eyes need cataract surgery, one eye will be done at a time with a month or two between procedures.

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