What are cataracts?
Cataracts aren’t harmful, but they can interfere with your vision as you grow older. In fact, by age 80, more than half of Americans either have some degree of cataracts, or they’ve had surgery for cataracts.
Cataracts affect the lens in your eye, which is located behind your iris and pupil. Your lens is largely made up of water and protein, but as you age, the protein may clump together, interfering with how light passes through your lens.
Small cataracts are generally harmless and don’t pose any restrictive vision problems. As the protein clumps grow larger, however, they can severely cloud your lens and greatly affect your vision.
How do glaucoma and cataracts affect each other?
The simple answer is that they don't have any effect on one another, but they often exist side by side. Glaucoma is a fairly common condition that is characterized by abnormal intraocular pressure caused by drainage problems in your eyes. Over time, this added pressure causes damage to your optic nerve.
While your eyes may be rather small in size, these two conditions -- cataracts and glaucoma -- affect entirely different areas in your eyes. They both can have a significant impact on your vision though.
What do I do if I have both?
There's no easy answer to this question, as it depends upon the extent of each condition. Odds are you're seeing the Los Angeles Glaucoma Group for glaucoma-related issues, and they have a good handle on your situation in that regard. But if cataracts are creeping in and undoing all the fine work that you and Los Angeles Glaucoma Group have accomplished in preserving your vision, there may come a time when both need to be addressed.
One of the simplest ways to address problematic cataracts is through a surgery to remove the cataract and replace the lens. In fact, cataract removal is one the most common surgical procedures in the United States, and it boasts an impressive 90% success rate.
Depending upon your situation, your provider can perform this procedure in conjunction with a glaucoma procedure, but a lot depends upon the extent of your glaucoma, what medications you’re taking, and how advanced the cataract is.
To find out whether you’re a candidate for both glaucoma and cataract surgery, call Los Angeles Glaucoma Group, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
We see patients for Glaucoma, Cataract Surgery, General Ophthalmology, and more. Call us to see Dr. Krivoy at our Torrance or Culver City, Ca Location today.