Cataracts in Seattle, WA
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What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are usually a natural part of the aging process. After the age of 40, proteins within the eyes' lenses start to degrade or lump together. The opacity resulting from cataracts eventually worsens and keeps light from hitting the retina the way it needs to. This fogging of the lens of the eye causes worsening vision, and typically, complete blindness if not discovered early and treated correctly.
Dr. Scott Campbell and his staff can detect and address cataracts in the earliest stages and guide you in successfully navigating progressing symptoms. At SPEX, we treat people who have cataracts nearly every day. Developing cataracts is quite common — so common that cataract surgery is the leading surgery performed in the United States. Approximately two million individuals have cataract surgery every year. Cataracts usually form quite slowly so patients with the initial stages typically are not even aware of their condition. Slow-forming cataracts are a major reason why having a comprehensive eye exam at least every two years is critical to your overall eye health.
Call our Seattle, WA office soon to schedule a comprehensive exam or see how we can help you treat your cataracts.
How Does Cataract Treatment Work?
The development of cataracts is a normal part of the aging process and the natural degradation of the proteins of the lens of the eye. This process occurs in everyone, though there are further behavioral and medical issues that may aggravate the process. Lifestyle choices, like tobacco use, drinking (excessive consumption), and prolonged UV-ray exposure, have been linked to cataracts, as well as some medical conditions, like diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Other factors that can exacerbate the process include:
- Previous eye surgery
- Injury to the eye
- Degenerative myopia
- Prescription or nonprescription use of steroids
To determine if someone has a cataract, an eye doctor conducts an in-depth eye exam. The team at SPEX is highly trained on the tests included in a thorough cataract exam. The typical tests to look for cataracts are all extremely easy, fast, and painless.
To begin, Dr. Campbell will perform a standard vision test. This is generally done with an eye chart. After that, he will often conduct a contrast sensitivity test, which is very similar to an acuity test but measures how clearly the patient can see contrast in images. After these tests, a slit lamp exam is often performed. For a slit lamp exam, Dr. Campbell uses a special microscope that shines a strong but extremely thin "slit" of light into the eye to look at its outermost structures. Lastly, he will conduct the retinal exam and depending on the results, a potential acuity meter (PAM) exam. Prior to these tests, dilating the pupils using special eye drops is required. Enlarging the pupils is very important because it enables the largest vantage point to examine the complete surface of the lens for any cataracts. If cataracts are detected, then the PAM exam might be done. A potential acuity meter (PAM) exam measures a patient’s possible clarity of vision without the cataract. The potential acuity exam can be quite important in selecting which IOL to use if the patient opts to have surgery.
SPEX Seattle Reviews
Always a good experience! Nice people, a great new office with some new technology and a doctor who’s good at what he does.
Top-notch provider - the combination of excellent "bedside manner", deep knowledge of the eye and it's foibles and ability to communicate that information in a clear, detailed, understandable manner along with great support staff in the front office is difficult to find these days and a real pleasure to experience -- every appointment
Spex is a one of kind. The staff and Dr. Campbell are amazing and I highly recommend.
I've been coming here for about 2 years and I've only ever had positive experiences. Best optometrist I've ever been to. Dr Campbell is very knowledgeable, thorough, genuine and friendly. Great bedside manner! The staff here are super friendly too and go above and beyond, like Lacey and Anna. Always helpful and kind. For frames, they have lots of stylish, high quality choices. Highly recommend!
I arrived in seattle late Friday night to realize I had left my contacts back home. My prescription is -6.50! Rushed to Spex 8:57am Saturday morning and they were extremely helpful and welcoming. Amazing selection of frames and were a lifesaver giving me a backup of contacts.
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Enjoy Clear Vision After Cataracts
Seattle, WA patients who suspect they have cataracts or who haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam recently need to make a visit with SPEX right away. People over the age of 40 need to have comprehensive eye exams every two years in order to detect and manage cataracts and other eye diseases. With an early diagnosis, our team can create a customized plan to help you with your condition.
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Can cataracts be prevented?
There is no surefire way to prevent cataracts. However, certain lifestyle choices may help reduce the risk of their development or delay their onset. These behaviors include protecting your eyes from sunlight by wearing sunglasses, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet high in antioxidants, and maintaining overall good health.
When is cataract surgery necessary?
Cataract surgery is usually recommended when the cataracts significantly affect your vision and impact your daily activities, such as driving or reading. However, the decision to undergo surgery ultimately depends on the individual, your unique vision circumstances, and your consultation and visits with Dr. Campbell and the SPEX team.
How common are cataracts?
Cataracts are relatively common, particularly among older adults. They are one of the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cataracts account for approximately 51% of world blindness, representing about 65 million people. In the United States, it is estimated that more than 24 million individuals aged 40 and older have cataracts, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years due to an aging population.