cataracts

What is a Cataract?

Most cataracts will develop slowly and not affect eyesight in the early stages. Cataracts are clouding of the lens in your eye. They can make seeing more difficult because its like seeing through a fogged up window.

Over time cataracts can interfere with reading, driving and even seeing loved ones or friends faces. When impaired vision interferes with your usual daily activities you may need to have surgery. Luckily, surgery is asafe and effective procedure.

Signs and Symptoms

Initially, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may only affect a small area of the eye lens. You may be completely unaware of the vision loss.  As time passes and the cataract grows larger, it will cloud more of your lens and distort the light that passes through it. This will lead to more noticeable symptoms.

Here is a list of common signs and symptoms:

  • sensitivity to light and glare
  • clouded, blurred or foggy vision
  • increased difficulty seeing at nigh time
  • Need for brighter light for “seeing” activities like, reading, crafting, etc.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions or contact lenses
  • Seeing halos around light or bright objects
  • yellowing or fading of colors
  • double vision in a single eye

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache, see your doctor right away.

Causes

Typically, cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up your eye’s lens. Inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems may increase your risk of cataracts.

Cataracts can also be caused by other eye conditions, past eye surgery or medical conditions such as diabetes. Long-term use of steroid medications can also cause cataracts to develop.

How a cataract forms

Cataracts form on the lens (colored part of your eye). Light that passes through your eye, from lens focused light, produces clear and sharp images on the retina (the light sensitive membrane in the eye that functions like film in a camera).

When you age, the lens in your eyes become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Age-related and other medical conditions cause the tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, creating small areas within the lens.

Cataracts continue to develop, clouding the eyes or a bigger part of the lens. Cataracts scatter light as it passes through the lens on its way to the retina, making the images appear blurry instead of sharply defined.

Cataracts can develop in both eyes but not evenly. They can be more advanced in one eye than the other, causing a difference in vision between the eyes.

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache, see your doctor right away.


For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.

Source: mayoclinic.org

Image by Paul Diaconu from Pixabay

 

 

 

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