Am I Developing Cataracts?
Is your vision just not what it used to be? Are at an age where you wonder if you could be developing cataracts? Here are a few things you should know:
Everyone Develops Cataracts
Every person born with healthy, functioning vision has a lens in each eye through which they see. These lenses are made up of many thin layers, like an onion. Over time or due to other factors, these lenses can become cloudy or foggy. It’s what we medically call developing cataracts, and it’s very common. In fact, every single person, if they live long enough, will develop cataracts.
It’s not a special or dangerous condition, it just happens, like wrinkles or gray hair or anything else in the aging process. So the question isn’t if you’ll develop a cataract, it’s when.
Symptoms That May Indicate Developing Cataracts
Cataracts present themselves through several classic symptoms, and they normally happen gradually over time. If you start experiencing the following, cataracts might be starting to develop in your eyes:
- Blurry or Cloudy Vision: People who are developing cataracts often describe their vision as cloudy or murky. If they wear glasses, it can seem as if something is smeared on their lenses. But cleaning their glasses won’t help when it’s their internal lens that’s fogged up.
- Faded Colors: Like looking through a dirty windshield, the world isn’t as crisp and clear when you have cataracts. Colors become dull as your lens become cloudier. This fading happens gradually, and often after cataract surgery patients are amazed at how bright and saturated with color the world looks again.
- Difficulty with Glare and Night Driving: Many people experience trouble seeing at night, with excessive glare and a “starburst” effect seeming to surround headlights and signs. This is one of the surest signs that your cataracts may be progressing.
- Changing Glasses Prescription: If your glasses prescription is changing rapidly or consistently, it might be due to cataracts. Often changing your glasses can help your vision for a little while, but only until your cataracts develop to a later stage, which happens more quickly for some than for others.
Keep in mind that though each of these symptoms is associated with cataracts, experiencing them doesn’t guarantee cataracts are the reason why.
See your eye doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they happen rapidly and abruptly, as they can also be associated with other, more critical eye health issues.
What To Do If You Think You’re Developing Cataracts
If you think you might have cataracts and they seem to be progressing, set up a medical eye exam with your optometrist. He or she will be able to diagnose how severe they are and give you some options for how to deal with the condition. They may be as mild as simply needing an updated glasses prescription, or as developed as needing surgery to remove them, and only an eye doctor who can take a detailed look will be able to tell.
Think you need an exam for cataracts? Click here to request an appointment with either Dr. Adsit or Dr. Mitchell!