What Is The First Sign of Cataracts?

Schedule a visit with our optometrists today to talk about your options for detecting and treating cataracts.

Cataracts may be more common than you think. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half of all Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of cataracts. 

Cataracts are not always easy to detect in the early stages. At first, they often present through blurry or hazy vision, making it difficult to complete normal activities like reading or driving. Because the symptoms are so similar to other eye issues, they can be difficult to catch early on.

What Are Cataracts?

At a young age, the lenses of our eyes are naturally clear. As we age, the lenses become less flexible, thicker, and hardened: the results of which can lead to a cataract. When the lenses undergo this change, it makes it more difficult for light to pass through in the way it should, blurring your vision as a result.

Most cataracts occur because of normal changes in the eye as a result of aging. It's common to develop them in both eyes, although they do not always progress at the same rate. If the severity of the cataracts are not uniform in both eyes, it can cause imbalances in vision, causing further discomfort to the individual.

What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?
Though the symptoms may be fairly mild early on, as the cataracts grow, they can cause significant changes in your vision. Catching the condition early can help slow the impairment and prevent the need for surgery.

The symptoms of cataracts to be aware of are as follows:
- Clouded, blurred or dim vision
- Increasing difficulty with vision at night
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
- Seeing "halos" around lights
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Double vision in a single eye

How Can I Prevent Cataracts

It isn't possible to completely prevent a cataract from forming, however there are several steps you can take to minimize your risk for contracting cataracts.

- Receive regular eye examinations
Regularly visit your ophthalmologist to stay up-to-date on your eye examinations and to help catch problems as they arise. Learning about your cataracts in the early stages is one way to prevent the condition from progressing more rapidly.

- Consider quitting smoking
Smoking cigarettes can increase your risk for contracting cataracts. If you are considering quitting and need assistance with strategies or suggestions, talk to your primary care doctor for more information.

- Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Implementing a healthy diet can help prevent problems before they start. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that are essential to the health of your eyes.

- Wear Sunglasses
Harmful ultraviolet rays are present in the sun's natural light. Wearing sunglasses that protect against UV rays will help keep your eyes healthy in the long term.

What Can I Do If I Am Concerned About My Vision?

Surgery is the only treatment for cataracts, but it is not always the first step in treating the condition. Schedule a visit with our optometrists today to talk about your options for detecting and treating cataracts. We will work with you to determine the best plan for protecting your vision.