Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process of the lens. They usually begin developing around 40 years of age and slowly cause progressive clouding of the lens of the eye.
Just because you have cataracts does not mean you need to get them removed right away. Cataracts grow slowly over time. As they gradually become larger, you will begin to notice their symptoms more.
When cataract symptoms start to impact your day-to-day life, it may be time to set a surgery date at Washington Eye. Keep reading to learn about 8 signs you may be developing cataracts.
The primary effect of cataracts is experiencing decreased vision. Cataracts cause blurry eyesight by blocking light from entering your eye. As a cataract develops, it becomes larger and more opaque. This usually happens so slowly that the change is barely noticeable.
Another common sign of cataracts is experiencing frequent prescription changes. Changing your prescription will usually work for a period of time, but eventually glasses will not be able to help get additional light to enter the eye, and cataract surgery should be considered.
The effects of cataracts are usually more obvious during the night, when light is scarcer. This can make activities such as night driving more difficult. Some situations, such as reading, can be improved by increasing the amount of light in whatever area you are working.
Certain kinds of cataracts may cause light to be scattered when it hits your eyes. When this light is not focused properly on the retina, it can cause painful glare.
Cataracts may also cause visual abnormalities, such as a ring of light or starburst around fixed light sources. This is common with headlights of cars in oncoming traffic and can be particularly distracting when you are trying to drive at night
At some point, you may begin seeing several images or a shadow behind images. Double vision is a less common symptom of cataracts, but it can be very disorienting.
It may seem odd, but you may notice your vision improve somewhat at some point as your cataracts develop. This happens when the cataract causes the lens to swell in a way that light begins to be refracted correctly onto the retina.
This improvement is short-lived, as the cataract will inevitably begin to block light, causing vision loss.
Cataracts are not white opacities. They are actually colored. Typically, cataracts will turn yellowish brown as they mature.
This coloration can be passed onto the light that enters your eye through them. This may cause your vision to become muddy and colors may start to appear faded.
Cataract surgery only needs to be considered when your cataracts become obtrusive and are interfering with your daily activities. Contact the cataract specialists at Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons to set up an evaluation and learn more about cataract symptoms and signs.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.