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Posted on 03-27-2017

Differences Between Cataracts & Glaucoma

Cataracts and glaucoma are different eye diseases but they do have certain important details in common. The first is that they both can be diagnosed and managed by your Amarillo eye doctors. In addition, cataracts and glaucoma are two of the four top causes of blindness in our country, according to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control), along with macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. 

glaucoma and cataract eye exam

Both glaucoma and cataracts are eye conditions associated with aging in individuals over 40 but can happen early in life. Perhaps most importantly, both eye diseases display no symptoms at the beginning, and can only be diagnosed early by our eye doctor near Amarillo. For both diseases, early treatment is the most successful, giving you the best opportunity to slow the disease and enjoy the best possible vision throughout your life. Now let's look at the differences between the eye diseases.

The Causes Of Cataracts

Cataracts cause the cornea (your eye’s lens) to become cloudy. Gradually vision gets “fogged up” like a windshield on a foggy day. Your eyes also begin to appear foggy from other peoples’ point of view. Major causes include:

  • Age, which often causes protein breakdown and eye clouding after age 40. Eye surgery may not be needed until 60 or beyond if treated early and managed in consultation with our Amarillo eye doctors.
  • Sunlight (UV) exposure may bring on the disease early
  • Diabetes can also cause early cataracts

Cataract Symptoms

You won’t notice cataract symptoms at first, but your eye doctor near Amarillo can diagnose the problem with regular eye exams and proper eye care. Much later, you’ll notice:

  • Blurry/foggy vision
  • Clouded eye lens(es)
  • Light sensitivity, faded color vision and poor night vision.

Cataracts Treatment 

We will adjust your eyeglasses prescription until your cataract keeps you from performing daily activities. Later cataract treatment includes surgical removal and new artificial lens insertion. 

 The Causes Of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused by poor fluid drainage leading to high intraocular pressure (IOC), which damages nerves in your retina. These issues also contribute to glaucoma development:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Eye injury
  • Eye inflammation (long term)
  • Retinal blood vessel blockage
  • Diabetes
  • Steroid use
  • Thin corneas
  • Age, over 40
  • Genetics, family member(s) with glaucoma
  • Ethnicity, African-American, Hispanic or Asian

Glaucoma Symptoms

There are no noticeable glaucoma symptoms at the beginning, but as retinal damage worsens, you will gradually lose peripheral (side) vision. Your optometrist in Amarillo can diagnose the disease early, at your regular annual eye exam. 

Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma is treated using prescription eye drops to help lower IOP (intraocular pressure). If eye drops fail to decrease eye pressure, our eye doctor in Amarillo TX may refer you for eye surgery. 

Contact Our Optometrist in Amarillo TX Today!

If you’re at risk for cataracts or glaucoma, or if it’s time for your annual preventative eye exam, contact our eye doctor in Amarillo TX at Balfour Optical for comprehensive eye care. Contact us at 806-355-4407 today!

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