Glaucoma and Cataracts

glaucoma-and-cataractsBoth glaucoma and cataracts can be a natural part of the aging process. Many people over age 60 may experience both. Although most people will eventually have both conditions, the two are generally not associated.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to a decrease in vision. Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Colors looking faded
  • Poor night vision
  • Seeing double
  • Seeing a halo around lights

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can harm the eye’s optic nerve and cause vision loss and blindness. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that take the images we see to the brain. A healthy optic nerve is needed for good vision.

Glaucoma often has few or no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing a halo around lights
  • Reddening of the eye
  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Cataracts and glaucoma are both serious conditions that can cause you to lose vision. However, loss of vision due to cataracts can be reversed with surgery. Although loss of vision from glaucoma is irreversible, there are treatment options available if the disease has not progressed to full vision loss.

Patients with both cataracts and glaucoma require special consideration. For patients with coexisting cataracts and glaucoma, surgical treatments can pose unique challenges and opportunities. When a patient has glaucoma that requires an operation, there may be a unique opportunity to remove the coexisting cataract without significantly increasing the risk of the glaucoma surgery.

The decision of whether or not combined cataract/glaucoma surgery should be performed, and the choice of glaucoma surgery, depends on various factors including the type of glaucoma and its severity. A detailed discussion with your doctor is important in order to determine the best option for you.

If you would like more information about glaucoma and cataracts in Medford or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your options with your eye doctor, please contact Medical Eye Center at 800-824-2688 or www.medicaleyecenter.com.