Eye doctors diagnose people of all ages with cataracts each year. Cataracts are a common eye problem that causes blurred vision and trouble distinguishing between colors. They are caused by the proteins in the lens of the eye binding together, making what appears to be a white, yellow, or brown film over the eye. If left untreated, cataracts can become worse and eventually lead to partial or complete blindness in the affected eye. If you are one of the many Americans with cataracts, you may be wondering several things. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have.

How did my eyes get this way?

Cataracts can develop for a number of reasons. They are often the result of getting older, or having diabetes. However, they can also be present at birth due to inherited conditions or prenatal illness such as the mother contracting rubella, influenza, or other infections.

There are also other diseases and disorder that can cause cataracts as well. Stress, frequent steroid use, and nutritional deficiencies due to autoimmune disorders such as Celiac Disease can also contribute to cataract development.

When should I see my eye doctor?

Generally, most people should see an eye doctor at least every two years, unless they notice a sudden change in vision. After a diagnosis of cataracts, is especially important to coordinate with your eye doctor about continued treatment that may include surgery as well as nutritional supplements and dietary changes. Speak with your optometrist about how frequently you should follow up, as well as about any vitamins that might encourage eye health such as Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Folate.

I have an astigmatism or some other eye problem. Is surgery even an option?

For cataracts that affect the line of vision, surgery is usually the only option. For most people, having the cataract removed, replaced, or cleared surgically can dramatically improve vision. However, because this type of surgery only addresses the lens of the eye, it may be necessary to have a more extensive procedure to correct other eye conditions such as astigmatism in order for you to really notice a difference.

Fortunately, because having multiple vision problems is a common concern, eye doctors and surgeons now have the ability to correct some of these problems, such as astigmatism, at the time of the cataract surgery. Speak with your doctor to determine if this type of multi-faceted approach is right for you.

No matter what your concerns are about your cataracts, your eye doctor will be there to help you along each step of the way. By communicating with your eye doctor about these concerns and others, you are sure find not only the answers to your questions, but effective treatment as well. Take a look at sites like http://www.checdocs.org for more information.