Having glaucoma and cataracts at the same time is possible. The two eye conditions are not related, but they can occur in individuals past 60 years old. They can surface at any age, but they are common in older adults.
Cataracts are an eye condition that occurs when the clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy. As you age, it is normal for the eye lens to be less transparent. Cataract diagnosis can happen if the cloudiness develops faster than the usual rate.
During the early stages of cataract development, glare can affect you as your vision loses clarity. A common sign that you have cataracts is difficulty driving at night. As the cloudiness develops, your eyesight can appear faded as colors seem less bright. Your glasses prescription can change often and unexpectedly if you have cataracts. Your optometrist can pick the early signs of cataracts by conducting various eye tests.
Below are the common cataract symptoms:
Glaucoma is among the causes of avoidable sight loss. A gradual rise of pressure inside your eye can damage the nerve fibers found at the back of your eye. Glaucoma develops painlessly and slowly for many individuals. You may not know you have the condition, and your doctor can only detect it if you go for your regular eye examination.
Your optometrist can conduct tests to assess your optic nerve, visual field, and the pressure inside your eye. Doing so can help catch the early signs of glaucoma.
Below are some of the risk factors of glaucoma:
The main difference between the two eye conditions is that their causes are different. Cataracts form because of broken-down proteins accumulating in your eye. Glaucoma arises when fluid builds up in your eye.
You can have cataracts and glaucoma at the same time. There are times where one of the conditions can lead to the other. A cataract can grow and end up blocking the natural drainage system of your eye. Your doctor can remove it through cataract surgery, reopening the clogged drainage system. As a result, this reduces the pressure exerted on the optic nerve.
Cataracts commonly form after glaucoma surgery. Some medical practitioners recommend waiting for at least one year after surgery before removing the cataract. Waiting can ensure your eye is stable and healthy before the removal surgery.
It is ideal to see your doctor annually for your regular eye exams and to get a screening for cataracts and glaucoma. You should also see your health care provider immediately once you notice changes in your vision. Do not postpone seeing the doctor until your next annual checkup.
See your doctor immediately if you experience blurry vision or eye redness. Severe eye pain and nausea or vomiting should also cause you to rush for help.
For more about glaucoma and cataracts, visit Sacramento Eye Consultants at our office in Sacramento or Lincoln, California. You can also call (916) 915-0300 to book an appointment today.