Aspirus Medical Monday: What to know about cataracts

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye, and according to Dr. Dustin Wasylik, an ophthalmologist at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, cataracts are quite common.

Cataracts are a part of the natural aging process, which means older people are more likely to have cataracts.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • blurry vision
  • difficulty seeing and/or reading
  • difficulty driving, especially at night

“Cataracts can be genetic in certain conditions, and usually that would be unavoidable,” said Wasylik. “There’s no sure way to avoid cataracts. If you live long enough you’re likely to develop a cataract, but certain people are more prone to develop cataracts, such as smokers, diabetics, people who are on systemic steroids. And also people who get a lot of UV exposure. There are people, like in the Himalayas, who tend to get cataracts much earlier because they’re closer to the sun and have a lot more UV exposure.”

There is a treatment for cataracts.

“Well if the cataract’s mild, we can treat with glasses and use those until the cataract becomes more pronounced. And then eventually, most cataracts are treated with cataract surgery. It’s a very straight forward, simple procedure. It’s about a fifteen minute procedure. Most people can see very good the next day or the next week at the latest.”

To learn more about Aspirus Eye Care and Surgery, click here.

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