The Early Signs of Cataracts: When to Consult an Expert
Since they develop gradually, catching the early signs of cataracts and undergoing cataract surgery has the potential to save you years of vision trouble; one of the most common things we hear from cataract patients is that they wish they would have had cataract surgery sooner! Read on to learn more about cataracts and their symptoms, and why it’s important to consult an expert if you think you have cataracts.
What Are Cataracts?
A “cataract” refers to the clouding of the eye’s natural crystalline lens. This typically occurs as part of the aging process. As the complex protein structure of the lens breaks down over time, it begins to stiffen and cloud, making vision blurry, hazy, and dull. Vision loss will eventually become more severe, even to the point of legal blindness.
Knowing the Symptoms of Cataracts
As cataracts develop, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Trouble Seeing
in Low Light
- Halos and Glare
- Blurry or Cloudy Vision
- Poor Night Vision
- Increased Sensitivity to Light
- Faded Color Vision
Trouble Seeing in Low Light
If you have cataracts, you may notice that you need more light to complete everyday tasks or hobbies, like reading, writing, sewing, or knitting.
Halos and Glare
You may also start to notice the appearance of glare in your vision, or rings of light known as halos. These can be especially noticeable at night.
Blurry or Cloudy Vision
One of the biggest indicators of a cataract is when your vision begins to blur. This can happen very slowly over time, but it will increase as the cataract develops and may not be noticeable at first.
Poor Night Vision
Due to halos and glare, you may find your night vision deteriorating. Driving at night may be particularly difficult, and the headlights from other vehicles may cause discomfort as well.
Increased Sensitivity to Light
Another sign you may have cataracts is if you notice increased sensitivity to light. You may find yourself wearing sunglasses more often or feeling discomfort when exposed to bright sunlight.
Faded Color Vision
Cataracts may cause bright images to appear dull, tinted, or yellowed. They can also distort your vision and make you see double or see spots in your vision.
How Cataracts Are Treated
In their early stages of development, cataracts can be managed by making adjustments to your daily life, such as increasing the light in your home and avoiding driving at night. Wearing sunglasses or brimmed hats can also protect your eyes from further damage from the sun, which can worsen cataracts. And as always, it’s important to undergo annual eye exams to screen for the early warning signs of cataracts and other eye diseases, some of which may display no symptoms until permanent damage has been done to your vision.
Unlike those eye diseases, however, cataracts can be treated and vision restored, but only through surgery. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. The technology in these lenses has become so advanced that they have the potential to reduce dependence on glasses after surgery.
The good news is that cataract surgery can be performed at any stage of a cataract’s development, so you don’t have to wait until total or even partial vision loss occurs. That is why recognizing the early signs of cataracts and seeking treatment can help you avoid years of poor vision.
Expert Cataract Treatment at Buffalo Ophthalmology
Cataract surgery is one of the most delicate and common eye surgeries performed across the world, and this safe, outpatient procedure can drastically improve your quality of life. If you think you may be developing cataracts, contact Buffalo Ophthalmology today to schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons, or our lead surgeon, Dr. Deepan Selvadurai.
"*" indicates required fields