Cataract & Glaucoma Evaluation

Atkinson Family Eye Care: John Atkinson, O.D., PLLC

Optometry located in Kannapolis, NC

Cataracts and glaucoma are conditions that can seriously impair your vision. They are both common in people over the age of 60. Glaucoma and cataracts can be present at the same time, but they are otherwise unrelated. Dr. Atkinson and the team at Atkinson Family Eye Care in Kannapolis, North Carolina, provide compassionate, expert care to patients coping with glaucoma and cataracts. To learn more, call or email the office, or schedule an appointment online.

Cataract & Glaucoma Evaluation Q & A

Atkinson Family Eye Care: John Atkinson, O.D., PLLC

What is glaucoma?

The term glaucoma refers to a group of related eye conditions caused by elevated pressure inside your eye that can damage your optic nerve, causing vision loss. Left untreated, glaucoma can result in permanent blindness.

Who can have glaucoma?

Glaucoma is most common in adults over the age of 40, but it can occur at any age. If you’re African-American, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • A history of taking steroid medications
  • Past trauma to the eye

Glaucoma typically has no early warning signs. Only an eye exam can detect glaucoma before vision loss occurs. If you have any of the risk factors above, it's important that you have an eye exam every year.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma can't be cured, but it can be controlled with prescription eye drops, which lower eye pressure to prevent further damage. Surgery is sometimes required to drain the fluid that is causing pressure.

What are the signs and symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding that occurs over the clear lens of your eye. Aging is the most common cause of cataracts, but other factors contribute, including:

  • UV exposure
  • Diabetes and other medical conditions
  • Eye injuries
  • Hereditary factors

Wearing UV protective sunglasses helps prevent cataracts caused by exposure to bright sunlight.

You may have a cataract if you have some of these symptoms:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Colors appear “yellowed” or faded
  • Double vision in one eye

In the early stages of cataracts, you may not have symptoms. An eye exam can detect small cataracts so they can be monitored and treated before they affect your vision.

How are cataracts treated?

Cataract surgery, an outpatient procedure in which the surgeon removes the damaged lens of your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens, is highly effective. Most patients can resume normal activities the following day.

To provide excellent care for patients with glaucoma or cataracts, Dr. Atkinson and his staff work as a team with professionals in the Kannapolis community, such as surgical specialists and school nurses. Dr. Atkinson provides medical reporting required by the DMV for glaucoma patients.

Atkinson Family Eye Care accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. For more information, call or email the office, or make an appointment online.