Have you recently noticed it’s more difficult to see? Do things like the television or a restaurant menu appear blurry? There’s a chance you may be developing a cataract.
A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens within your eye. Cataracts may not be noticeable at first but can worsen over time as the cataract grows. The signs of cataracts may resemble those of other eye conditions, so they can be difficult to diagnose on your own.
Continue reading to learn more about the common signs of cataracts from The EyeDoctors.
The most common cause of a cataract developing is due to aging. After reaching the age of 40, the proteins in the eye start to group together. This creates a cloudy cataractous lens that can cause many vision problems, such as blurry vision or vision loss.
Cataracts can develop in both of your eyes. In this case, it’s common to see the cataracts develop at different rates.
Factors that can increase your risk of cataract development include:
Past eye surgeries
Using steroids, a drug used for many health problems such as arthritis
Taking phenothiazine drugs, which are used for conditions like bipolar disorder
Ultraviolet exposure, or spending time in the sun without wearing sunglasses
It is possible for cataracts to develop in both of your eyes. However, the cataracts may develop at different rates.
Now that you understand what a cataract is, let's take a closer look at the most common cataract signs and symptoms.
Blurry vision from a cataract will progress over time, causing you to feel like you’re looking through a foggy car window. This can impact your everyday life, especially while driving or reading.
Have you bought some brighter lamps recently? Read the restaurant menu with your phone’s flashlight? As cataracts develop, you may find yourself needing a brighter environment for everyday tasks. As a result, your ability to see at night is also affected by the cataracts.
Although you may need more light to see, it’s possible you’ll also experience sensitivity to light. People with cataracts may notice that lights can cause a debilitating glare. This is especially dangerous when driving at night.
If you've had to make one or more changes to your lens prescription recently, this may be due to developing cataracts.
Do headlights bother you when you drive at night or on cloudy days? Cataracts can cause halos or glares to appear around bright lights.
Instead of seeing bright colors as they normally are, cataracts can make them appear dull or yellow.
Cataracts can sometimes cause you to see double images, making it difficult to perform your everyday activities.
Any time you experience cataract signs and symptoms, you should set an appointment with an eye doctor.
Sometimes, cataracts do not require any immediate treatment. Your eye doctor may want you to return for follow-up appointments and monitoring. They may also recommend an update to your vision prescription. Other times, your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens to improve your vision.
It is also possible that your ocular symptoms may be from something other than cataracts. Working with a trusted eye doctor is the best way to confirm whether or not you have cataracts.
The team at The EyeDoctors Optometrists specializes in eye diseases and ocular conditions. Routine eye exams allow our doctors to provide you with your best vision possible. If you are diagnosed with a cataract, we will work with you to determine the best treatment option for your eyes.