Cataracts Management

Cataracts are a common eye condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, leading to impaired vision. They are a leading cause of blindness worldwide, particularly affecting older adults. With early detection and careful treatment, cataracts can be managed for a while without surgery. At Tonic Eye Care, we are committed to providing comprehensive cataract management and work alongside a team of professional primary care physicians and ophthalmologists to help you maintain clear vision.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts tend to develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. You may not notice you have cataracts forming until they start to significantly affect your vision. Common cataract symptoms include:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colours
  • Double vision in a single eye

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait to schedule an eye exam to determine if cataracts are the cause. The sooner you can start treatment, the better your vision will fare. 

Who is Most at Risk?

Cataracts can affect anyone. Yes, even children can get cataracts. However, there are several factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing cataracts:

  • Age–Most cataracts develop after age 40, with the risk increasing significantly as you get older
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity
Symptoms of Cataracts - Tonic Eye Care
  • Previous trauma to the eye, for example from an eye injury or surgery
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • Excessive sunlight exposure can increase the risk of cataracts, highlighting the importance of using sunglasses
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption

The Different Types of Cataracts

There are many different types of cataracts. Cataracts can be categorized based on their location in the lens and their cause. Here are some of the most common cataract types. 

Nuclear Cataracts

These form in the center of the lens and are associated with aging. Over time, the lens becomes yellow or brown, leading to a gradual reduction in vision quality and difficulty distinguishing colours.

Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts start in the periphery of the lens and extend toward the center in a spoke-like fashion. They often cause glare and problems with contrast and depth perception.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

These develop at the back of the lens, right in the path of light entering the eye. They often progress faster than other types and can interfere with reading and cause glare or halos around lights at night.

Congenital Cataracts

Some people are born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. These can be due to genetic factors, infections, or other conditions present at birth. Early detection and treatment are crucial for preventing vision problems later in life.

Secondary Cataracts

These occur as a result of other medical conditions, such as diabetes, or from the use of certain medications like corticosteroids. They can also develop after eye surgery for other problems, such as glaucoma.

How We Detect Cataracts

Early detection of cataracts is essential to managing and treating the condition effectively. At Tonic Eye Care, we use comprehensive eye exams to diagnose cataracts, employing the latest diagnostic tools and imaging technology. 

What to Expect During a Cataract Consultation

When you book an eye exam for cataracts, your optometrist will take a detailed patient history before testing your vision, eye structure, retina, and eye pressure. The eye exam will include tests for:

  • Visual acuity
  • Peripheral vision
  • Eye pressure
  • Imaging of the front and back of the eye 
  • Eye muscle function
  • Binocular vision
  • Pupil reaction

Depending on the patient, your optometrist will discuss options for surgical interventions and help with pre-surgical preparations and post-surgical recovery. While we don’t perform cataract surgery ourselves, optometrists play a critical role in pre-surgical screening and can help connect patients with professional ophthalmologists.

Note: Patients will likely receive dilation drops as a part of the eye exam. Dilation can blur vision for several hours after the exam. Please arrange for safe transportation home from your appointment as it is unsafe to drive until your vision returns to normal.

Cataracts Management - Tonic Eye Care

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Regular eye exams are a crucial part of cataract management. Check-ups allow you to detect early signs and symptoms of cataracts and monitor their progression carefully. Regularly scheduled check-ups also allow you to stay informed on the state of your condition as they provide us with more opportunities to educate you about the condition and best practices for home care.

How We Treat Cataracts

Treatment for cataracts depends on the severity of the condition and how much it affects your daily life. Early stages of cataract treatment are generally focused on helping patients manage their visual impairments, slow the progression of the cataracts, and make lifestyle changes to mitigate the impact on quality of life. Surgery is ultimately the only way to remove cataracts and restore your vision.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In the early stages of cataracts, vision changes can often be managed by updating eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions to correct vision changes. Anti-glare sunglasses can help with sensitivity to bright light and adjusting lighting can help with reading and other close-up tasks. These measures can help manage symptoms temporarily, but they do not stop cataracts from progressing.

Surgical Treatment

When cataracts interfere significantly with your vision and daily activities, surgery may be necessary. Cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens. 

Cataracts Treatment - Tonic Eye Care

There are a few different types of surgeries, each with a similar goal of removing the cloudy lens. Which surgical method is best will depend on the patient. You can discuss surgical options in detail when you book an appointment with one of our optometrists.

Toronto’s Cataract Eye Doctor

Tonic Eye Care is dedicated to providing the highest quality cataract management services in Toronto. Our team of experienced optometrists and surgeons uses the latest technology and treatment methods to help you live with your cataracts and achieve the best possible outcomes from surgery. We stay current with the latest research and advancements in cataract treatment to offer our patients the best care possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.