June is Cataract Awareness Month: Know the Symptoms and How to Handle Them

Many among us have heard of the term “cataract” before, but only a few have a wide understanding of what it actually is and what makes it a serious eye condition. By definition, a cataract is a cloudy area anywhere on the lens of the inside of an eye, which helps for a clear and focused eyesight. When these cloudy patches develop on the lens, they leave the eyesight dimmed or blurry.

What are the common signs of cataracts?

Most people wonder how a cataract is detected, as it tends to be confused for eye irritation. Here is a list of the symptoms that may occur from cataracts:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dimmed vision
  • Fading colors
  • Poor night vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Double or multiple vision in one eye
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent prescription changes (eyeglasses or contacts)

Many people don’t realize they have cataracts until they get worse. In some cases, cataracts make it difficult to complete everyday tasks. A person with cataracts may find it difficult to read or drive, especially at night. Even though cataracts are not usually painful, your vision may be altered. In most cases, a person’s long distance vision is the first to be affected.

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens is made up of mostly water and protein, and the protein forms in a certain way to keep the lens clear allowing light to pass through. This allows a clear and focused image onto the retinal surface.

As we age, the protein in our lens may move or clump together, forming a clouded area on the lens called a cataract.

There are three common types of cataracts that could occur as you age:

  • Nuclear Sclerotic: This is the most common type of cataract. It involves a hardening and yellowing of the lens over time.
  • Cortical: This cataract leaves the outside of the lens cloudy, and your vision may become blurred or dimmed.
  • Posterior Subcapsular: This cataract leaves a cloudy area on the back surface of the lens which results in the “halo” effect or sensitivity to glare and light.

What to Do If You Have Cataracts

As you age, your eyes become more susceptible to eye related issues which could affect your vision. If you or someone you know is faced with cataracts, reach out to your eye doctor and find out what the next steps should be. If you still have questions about cataracts or how to potentially prevent them, stay tuned for our next post about cataracts on some possible lifestyle changes that could help prevent cataracts.

Do you have symptoms of Cataract? Contact us at Arizona Retinal Specialists and let’s solve your vision problem.