Do you or does a loved one have the signs of cataracts? Because this is a very common type of vision problem especially in those who are older. It is essential to understand the early signs to prevent the further development of cataracts and help the eye doctor decide whether a cataract surgery is ideal for you.
Signs of Cataracts | Pay Attention to These
In This Article:
What Are Cataracts?
Before you proceed with the signs of cataracts, let’s define the condition. Cataracts are a type of film or clouding that develops on the outer lens of the eye. This part is normally clear, allowing light to pass.
People who have a cataract may describe their vision as cloudy. They may also complain of blurry vision.
If left untreated, the condition can progress. It will eventually make it hard to read or watch television. Over time, the cataract symptoms can worsen and become thicker. The person may develop vision loss.
Understanding the Causes of Eye Cataracts
Why do people develop the signs of cataracts? Cataracts are a normal part of aging for most people. The quality and function of the eye often deteriorate over time. People may also develop congenital cataracts, or genetics may play a role.
But, an eye injury can speed up this process. The cataract symptoms may occur after a surgery involving the lenses. Some people also develop the signs of cataracts as a result of taking steroids as medications or while suffering from diabetes. Controlling these underlying conditions may be important.
How Does a Cataract Develop?
It can take years for the signs of cataracts to develop. The lens of the eye located behind the iris, or the colored portion of the eye, is at risk. Light comes into your eye and passes through this lens to the cornea on the back portion of the eye. The lens is a light-sensitive membrane. It works like the film in a camera. It filters light, so your optic nerve can transfer that light into an image.
The lens can develop clouding, though. It then becomes less flexible and thicker. The tissues within the lens start to break down, causing them to clump together until less light can pass through the eye.
Types of Cataracts
Signs of cataracts and risk factors may differ depending on the type. These include the following:
- Congenital cataracts – These are present at birth, although they are less common. They may be due to some infection, trauma, or genetics.
- Nuclear cataracts – These are cataracts that impact the center of the eye. They often cause nearsightedness before yellowing.
- Cortical cataracts – They occur around the edges of the lens. They often create a white streak along the outer edge that expands inward.
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts – They are the ones that develop at the back of the lens. One of the common signs is halo. The vision can become opaque.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts
It’s not uncommon for people to miss the signs of cataracts during the early stages of the condition. Sometimes, they discover it only when they undergo a routine eye exam.
The symptoms of cataract formation can be subtle, so it’s important to pay close attention to the following:
- Seeing what looks like halos around lights
- Cloudy vision
- Dim vision
- Obscured or blurred vision
- Sensitivity to glare and bright lights
- Trouble seeing well at night
- Fading of colors (they do not seem as bright)
- Yellowing of colors
- Need for more light to read
- Double vision that occurs in just one eye
These signs of cataracts do not need to develop on the center portion of the lens. A person may have cloudiness in only one area of his or her vision. Some people develop cataracts in both eyes at the same time. Others develop them in just one eye.
To have a full idea of how the signs of cataracts can affect your vision, watch this video from American Academy of Ophthalmology:
Do you have any of the signs of cataracts? Getting the help of an eye care professional is important. The earlier you have them treated, the higher your chances are of getting your vision back.
Have you experienced cataracts? What did you do to treat it? Share your stories with us!