To prevent further complications, it is important to treat cataracts early. Here are signs that you may need vision surgery to address cataracts.
By the time they reach age 80, at least half of all Americans have either had a cataract or have had vision surgery.
A cataract is a term for the clouding of the lens inside your eye. It can affect your vision in a variety of ways and many people who are over sixty will have at least some level of cataract present.
If they are left to develop, your vision may deteriorate to the point where it looks like you are looking at the world through a frosted window.
Luckily, this problem can easily be fixed when you have vision surgery. During the procedure, the lens inside your eye is replaced with a synthetic one.
But how do you know if you need surgery? Keep reading to find out.
A cataract is developed from protein clumpings and starts as a very small buildup that only affects a portion of your lens. At this stage, you may not even notice a change in your vision.
As the cataract begins to grow and more proteins build up over time, your vision will become blurry. For those that wear glasses, you may start to feel like your lens are always dirty.
If you have blurry or misty vision it should not be ignored. The problem will get worse as time goes on and vision surgery could end your suffering immediately.
Dazed by the Light
Cataracts are known to cause a wide variety of vision problems including seeing halos around objects and having double vision. They can also prevent you from seeing faded or yellow-toned colors.
But the most frustrating effect a cataract has on your daily vision is sensitivity to light and glares. In fact, the problem is so debilitating that it has been classified into two categories.
The first is discomfort glare. This comes from a light source that is too strong and causes our eyes to strain. For example, looking at the sky on a sunny day at the beach. This kind of glare is uncomfortable, but it goes away quickly and does not cause a lot of problems.
The other kind is disability glare. This is a much more serious condition because it affects everything a person sees. Disability glares are caused by eye diseases and cause a reduction in visual performance. If left to develop, you could have extreme sensitivity to both normal light sources and low levels of light.
When discomfort and disability glares come from a cataract, the clouded lens causes light to scatter rather than travel in its usual path to the retina at the back of the eye. As a result of this light fracture, coping with bright lights can be difficult making driving impossible.
How to Handle Glare
If you are having problems with glare and light sensitivity you should see your doctor. But until then, there are a couple ways you can reduce your discomfort.
The first is to use a hand or a wide-brimmed hat to shade your eyes in harsh situations. Tinted glasses can also be used to reduce glare without a big cost. When you are selecting a pair of sunglasses make sure that they have a UV filter.
If you find yourself using glasses in a wide variety of settings, it may be a good idea to purchase a pair that is light activated. That way they will automatically adjust for you as you go from one light setting to another.
Changes in Color
As a cataract continues to grow and develop on the lens of your eye, it will begin to harden. Eventually, the spot will become yellow or brownish in color. This tint will impact your vision on a daily basis until you have vision surgery.
Since these changes can occur slowly over time, you may not notice the changes in your vision. If you begin disagreeing with loved ones over the color of objects and your eyes have been a bit misty, then you may have a cataract.
Changes in Your Vision Prescription
During the early stages of a cataract, your vision will begin to slowly change. Glasses will still be able to correct most of the issues with your sight and you may find yourself cycling through prescriptions trying to keep up with the changes.
But eventually, you will notice that no matter what prescription you use, you are still having cloudy and poor vision. If you are over the age of sixty and you have changed your glasses prescription more than once in the past year, you may have a cataract.
Why You Might Need Vision Surgery
Cataracts are a common problem that develops as we age. They form over years through a gradual process of protein buildup. Over time, the lens of your eye will become less transparent and resilient and will often become thicker.
They can creep up on you because it is hard to discern the effects of a developing cataract when the changes are subtle. In fact, in the early stages of a cataract, you may think that you have simply become more nearsighted since your vision may be corrected with a new prescription of glasses.
But as the cataract continues to grow and progress, you will begin to notice changes with your vision, especially at night. Halos can develop around objects as light is refracted away from your retina because of the hardened lens on the surface of your eye.
If you begin to notice changes in your vision, you should go to the doctor for an eye exam. In fact, comprehensive eye exams are recommended every other year for those over the age of forty to check for cataracts, glaucoma, and other degenerative eye conditions.
When you go to the doctor they will check your vision by having you read the traditional letter chart. They may also dilate your pupils to be able to see the back of your eye and detect any problems there.
If you are concerned about changes in your vision, then you should make an appointment with us today.