Like gray hair and wrinkles, cataracts are a part of aging. Cataracts are a build-up of broken-down protein on the lens of the eye that can lead to difficulty seeing and blindness. By 80 years old, about half of New Mexico residents will have had cataract surgery or will be living with cataracts.
Cataract surgery can restore vision in about 90% of patients who have it. However, what happens when the signs and symptoms of cataracts are medically misdiagnosed?
Causes and symptoms of cataracts
Aging is the most common cause of this eye affliction. However, certain medications, smoking, and chronic illness can also cause cataracts. Additionally, too much time in the sun without adequate eye protection will lead to cataracts.
The breakdown and build-up of protein generally begin to occur in a person’s eyes around middle age. Early signs and symptoms can include blurred vision, double vision, glare, light-sensitivity and decreased color perception. These symptoms are also attributed to a variety of other causes, which means that people with cataracts, especially in their early stages, can be misdiagnosed. An incorrect diagnosis leads to medical malpractice claims.
In the early stages of cataracts, new eyeglass prescriptions can help with blurred vision. Anti-glare lenses and magnifying lenses can also assist with reduced sight. Once cataracts begin to interfere with daily activities, surgery is inevitable.
Surgery is the only way to completely remove cataracts, and, sometimes, it comes with its own complications. Surgery removes the damaged lens of the eye and replaces it with an implant. Complications can include infections, double vision, bleeding, or detached retinas. Sometimes, a condition in which the implanted lens clouds over happens, and it is an “after-cataract.”
Ultimately, there may be little you can do to prevent cataracts completely. However, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and keeping diabetes under control can help. Wear protective eyewear whenever you go outdoors since sunlight exacerbates cataracts.
You can also eat foods high in antioxidants to reverse the oxidative effects of the sun. If your cataracts were misdiagnosed, a medical malpractice lawsuit may ensue. A competent and aggressive attorney can advocate for you.