Can I Wear Contact Lenses If I Have Cataracts?

A cataract is the clouding of your eye’s natural lens. There are different types of cataracts. 

Most progress slowly over several years. Due to the slow progression, you might not immediately notice any changes in your vision. 

However, some types of cataracts can grow quickly, affecting your vision in only a couple of months. Although cataract surgery is the best way to restore vision affected by cataracts, you may wonder if there are other ways to mitigate cataract symptoms.

Keep reading to learn if you can wear contact lenses if you have cataracts!

Causes of Cataracts

For most adults, cataracts occur as a part of the normal aging process of the eye’s natural lens. With age, the proteins in your lens begin to break down and clump together.

Due to this, cataracts block light from passing through the lens, scattering and dimming it. Cataracts can cause a variety of symptoms, including blurry vision and glare from light sources. 

Apart from advanced age, cataracts can also form early because of:

  • Congenital conditions
  • Eye injury
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • Taking certain medications, like corticosteroids, for a long time 

Signs of Cataracts

The most common sign of cataracts is blurred or cloudy vision. It may seem as though you’re looking through a frosted window. 

Other symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Halos and glares
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors appearing faded
  • Frequent prescription changes
  • Needing brighter lighting to read

Treating Cataracts 

During the early stages of cataracts, your ophthalmologist may be able to improve your vision with contact lenses and glasses. Your eye doctor may also suggest using more lighting when reading or cooking to manage mild cataracts. 

While a stronger contact lens prescription won’t slow the progression of cataracts, it’ll enable you to live a normal life. As cataracts progress, they will continue to impair your vision and, at some point, will prevent you from performing simple, everyday activities. 

The only way to restore clear vision is through cataract surgery. The cataract surgery procedure is very common, has excellent results, and is extremely safe.

Cataract Surgery

If your cataracts reach a point where they significantly affect your vision and make it hard to read, cook, drive, or enjoy your favorite pastimes, your doctor will recommend cataract surgery. This procedure is considered one of the safest procedures with very low complication rates. 

Cataract surgery is an excellent option if your contact lenses no longer provide clear vision. Cataract surgery is a quick, outpatient procedure that only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to complete. 

You’ll have cataract surgery and be able to return home the same day. During cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon will remove the cataract lens and replace it with a new intraocular lens, or IOL. 

Depending on the IOL you choose, you may be able to obtain vision better than you’ve ever experienced. Another great thing about cataract surgery is that recovery is relatively easy.

Most people are able to resume normal activities in as little as twenty-four to forty-eight hours post-op.

Enjoy Clear Vision

Have you gone in for an eye exam this year? The experienced ophthalmologists at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona recommend getting routine eye exams. 

Regular eye examinations are extremely important. They can help catch and treat many eye conditions early, including cataracts.

Are you experiencing any symptoms of cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale, AZ, today!

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