In the majority of people, cataracts are an unavoidable part of the aging process that begins to occur after the age of 40 when the proteins comprising the lens of the eye usually begin to degrade and/or cluster together. The opacity caused by cataracts eventually gets worse and keeps light from arriving at the retina correctly. This clouding of the lens of the eye leads to vision impairment, and eventually, complete blindness if not discovered or treated in time.
Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is equipped to diagnose and manage cataracts in the first stages, as well as in support of our patients in the best methods of dealing with advancing symptoms. Having cataracts is very common — so common that cataract surgery is the most common surgery conducted in the U.S. The disease can form relatively slowly so those in the onset stages typically don't realize their condition. Since cataracts develop over time, having complete eye exams at least every other year is crucial to your general ocular health. Contact Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN to see how we can help you get in control of your cataracts.
Symptoms of Cataracts
The most noticeable symptom of a cataract is progressively foggy eyesight that isn’t made clear by a patient’s current glasses prescription. Many people begin to realize they need more light to read. Additional vision-related symptoms could include decreased night vision, abnormal glare or halos, and vision with an overall yellowish tint. Cataracts aren’t painful, and they can be present for several years before they lead to any vision problems. In the majority of people, the condition begins to develop somewhere between 40 – 50 years of age, although a great number of people don’t experience any symptoms prior to reaching their 60s.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are the result of age and the natural degeneration of the proteins of the eye lens. This process occurs in all men and women, but there are further behavioral and health issues that may speed up the condition. Smoking, vaping, drinking too much alcohol, and prolonged sun exposure have been associated with cataracts, as have medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure. Other factors that might speed up the formation of cataracts include:
- Degenerative myopia
- Certain types of eye surgery
- Use of prescription steroids
- Injury to the eye
Cataracts Explained Reviews
"The entire staff is a very professional staff. Everyone was courteous, kind and compassionate. I admittedly was very anxious leading up to my first surgery to remove cataracts. Now, having had the cataract surgery on both eyes I am truly amazed at the difference in my vision. Before surgery it was looking through a foggy windshield. Chu Vision Institute is Frantastic."- F.B. / Facebook / Jun 08, 2021
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I felt anxious at the pre op screening visit because I didn't understand how long the measuring process would take. Did I not ask enough questions? Did I not understand the explanations of the procedure? I'm not sure. But once I voiced my concern everything was explained to my complete understanding. The facility met or exceeded all the COVID protocols. It was close to home -- easy to access and had free parking. Dr. Chu was approachable and caring. Dr. Heckman was patient, caring and concerned about me as well as making sure Dr. Chu received the specs he needed to perform perfect surgery. THANK YOU!!!!"- N.C. / Office Visit / Jun 24, 2021
"I can’t even imagine any experience better than that provided by Dr. chu, and all his staff! Everything from surgery through all exams were all exceptional! They treat you like family, answer all questions to a tee, and the clinic is exceptionally clean!"- L.B. / Office Visit / Jan 05, 2022
"The staff made me feel like family, warm, friendly and fun. Any surgery is pretty serious, but I was reassured by those caring for me. Im so happy with my vision now, cataracts are gone. Thank you Chu Vision Institute!!!!"- B.S. / Google / Jan 14, 2022
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
During a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Chu will do a simple vision test. This is generally done with a basic eye chart. After that, he will often conduct a contrast sensitivity test, which is very similar to a vision test but establishes how clearly the patient can see contrast. Then, a slit-lamp exam is usually performed. During a slit-lamp exam, Dr. Chu uses a special microscope that shines a strong but extremely narrow “slit” of illumination into the eye to observe its more outward structures.
Lastly, he will conduct the retinal exam and sometimes a potential acuity meter (PAM) exam. Prior to these tests, widening the pupils with special eye drops is required. Dilation of the pupils is necessary because it enables the most effective view to check the whole lens for any areas of cataract. If any are detected, then the potential acuity meter exam may be done to check the actual existing vision. The potential acuity meter exam is particularly important in choosing an IOL if Dr. Chu determines that you are a candidate for surgery.
Cataract Treatment Options
If Dr. Chu confirms you have cataracts, we can start to detail the different methods of treatment. The potential treatments for cataracts depend on the advanced degree of the disease. In the beginning stages, a lot of patients can manage quite well with new prescription glasses or contact lenses. Women and men with later-stage cataracts usually require a more involved solution, such as traditional or refractive cataract surgery. Dr. Chu and his remarkable staff are committed to offering you the highest quality of customized care. Based on the stage of your condition, we can treat your cataracts in our Bloomington, MN office, or refer you to a trusted specialist.
Improved Vision After Cataracts
If you have any of these symptoms or you haven’t received a comprehensive eye exam for more than two years, we recommend scheduling an appointment at Chu Vision Institute. Particularly for people who are in their 40s, getting comprehensive eye exams at least every two years is critical to diagnosing and managing cataracts and many other eye diseases. At our office in Bloomington, MN, Dr. Chu can provide a prompt diagnosis and establish an individualized plan to treat your condition.
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