What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This clouding of the lens causes the light to scatter and prevents some light from reaching the retina which then causes blurred vision. This condition usually occurs slowly over time; however, it can also happen quickly.
Cataracts are not painful, but you may notice these symptoms:
- Details are difficult to see
- Cloudy, fuzzy or blurry vision
- Double vision
- Changes in the color of the pupil
- Poor night vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare, especially while driving at night
- Frequent changes in your glasses prescription
- Dull colors
- Inability to perform activities such as reading or driving due to poor vision
When should you see your doctor?
If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis is the best method of management. Regular office visits assist your doctor in determining if cataracts are affecting your ability to see. However, if your vision suddenly becomes worse, see your doctor promptly.
How many people get cataracts?
Nearly half of all people will have a cataract by the time they are 65 years of age.
In addition to aging, other causes of cataracts include:
- A family history of cataracts
- Medical problems, such as diabetes
- Injury to the eye
- Medications, such as steroids
- High salt intake
- Long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight
Can cataracts be prevented?
Currently, there are no medications or exercises that will cause cataracts to disappear. The most important thing that you can do to prevent cataracts is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Parents should also make sure their children are protected from these harmful rays. Ultraviolet exposure occurs over an entire lifetime.