Although it’s true that you might not see as well at age 70 as you did at age 7, you shouldn’t write off vision problems as just a normal part of aging. According to the National Eye Institute, cataracts affect more than half of American adults over 80 years old. Keep scrolling to learn about the symptoms of a cataract, and contact your optometrist today if you have trouble seeing.
Symptoms of a Cataract
Although cataracts affect people in different ways, the most common symptoms of a cataract include the following:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Colors seeming less vibrant
- A glare or halo around lamps and sunlight
- Poor night vision
- Double vision
- Frequent eyeglass or contact prescription changes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of a cataract, contact your optometrist right away. He or she will be able to determine whether or not cataracts are causing your vision problems, or if it is a different health issue.
Types of Cataracts
Did you know that there is more than one type of cataract? Medical professionals classify cataracts based on where they are in your eye, and how they develop.
- Nuclear cataracts turn the nucleus (the center of your eye) brown or yellow. These cataracts typically form in the middle of the lens.
- Cortical cataracts form around the edge of the nucleus and point to the center of the eye. They show up as a cloudy, opaque wedge shape.
- Posterior capsular cataracts can form quickly, and they affect the back of the lens.
- Congenital cataracts typically affect infants, and they are less common than other types of cataracts.
- Traumatic cataracts can develop years after an eye injury.
- Radiation cataracts can form after radiation treatment.
Causes of Cataracts
According to the American Optometric Association, age-related changes cause most cataracts. These changes often occur in the lens of the eye and give it a cloudy appearance. Other factors can contribute to cataract development:
- Certain medications like corticosteroids, Chlorpromazine, and other phenothiazine medications
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Eye surgeries or injuries
Eyeglass prescription changes can temporarily help with cataracts, but as they progress, surgery might be required. Luckily, cataract surgery is usually very safe and successful. However, this surgery does include a risk of infection, bleeding, and retinal detachment.
The two main types of cataract surgery are small-incision cataract surgery and extracapsular surgery. During small-incision surgery, an Optometrist inserts a tiny probe into the eye. The probe softens the lens so it can be suctioned out. Extracapsular surgery requires a larger incision in the cornea so the original lens can be removed and replaced with a clear plastic lens.
Now that you know the symptoms of a cataract, don’t wait any longer to receive help from a professional. Cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries performed in the United States today, and about 90 percent of cataract surgery patients report better vision after the surgery (source).
Are you looking for a caring eye professional in southwest Missouri? Contact Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!