Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in people 55 and older and Dr. Hetel Bhakta, Therapeutic Optometrist, encourages everyone to be aware of the symptoms of cataracts, for the sake of their vision or for someone they know.

“A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye,” Dr. Hetel Bhakta explained, “and they tend to ‘grow’ gradually, so changes in vision may not be noticeable at first”. Symptoms of cataracts may include:

  • “Cloudy” vision
  • Sensitivity to bright sunlight
  • “Halos” appear around headlights at night
  • Colors appear faded

The most common cataracts are age-related, according to Dr. Hetel Bhakta, “By age 80, almost half the population either has a cataract or has had a cataract surgically removed.”

Cataract surgery is the most common form of surgery in the United States, with more than 1.5 million procedures every year, Dr. Hetel Bhakta said. But surgery is not the first option for anyone with a cataract.

“We can manage some of the symptoms of cataracts in the early stages with sunglasses or eyeglasses with anti-reflective lenses,” Dr. Hetel Bhakta said. “But when the cataract interferes with daily activities such as reading or driving, it’s time to consider surgery.”

“As with any eye disease, early detection and treatment are the keys to successful management of cataracts.” Dr. Hetel Bhakta said. And the first step is a comprehensive eye examination annually, especially for persons over 60 years of age.

Dr. Bhakta owns and practices at Planet Vision Eyecare located at 5875 Lake Worth Road in Greenacres and is a member of Vision Source, the nation’s number one network of private practice optometrists. Founded in 1991, The Vision Source network includes more than 2,700 offices in all 50 states and in Canada.