What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?

Senior man with glasses

Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions in the world. At some point in your life, they will likely affect you.

In some people, they become so developed they need cataract surgery. Other people can have cataracts without visual impairment, and some people are lucky enough never to get them.

But it’s wise to be able to recognize the symptoms of cataracts. That way, you can take appropriate action if the time comes to do so.Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of cataracts and when you should begin to pay extra attention to changes in your eyesight.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a natural clouding in the lens of your eye that occurs as you age. They develop as the proteins in your natural lens break down and then clump together.

As these proteins clump together, they create milky cloudiness in your lens. The longer they develop, this cloudiness gets thicker and whiter until light can no longer pass through your lens.

At this point, you can no longer see, and it’s time for cataract surgery. Cataracts develop over time, and you can have them for years before they begin to impact your vision.

When Do Cataracts Affect Your Vision?

For most people, cataracts begin to form in their forties. But they usually don’t impact your vision until you are in your sixties or seventies.

Commonly, cataracts develop in your eyes for twenty or thirty years before needing cataract surgery. That happens for two reasons.

One is that cataracts take time to develop. Your eyes don’t turn white overnight. Instead, the breakdown of proteins in your eyes is gradual and almost unnoticeable.

That’s the second reason it takes so long for cataracts to get bad enough they warrant removal. As they develop, even if they begin to block your vision a bit, your brain can make up for the slight decrease in visual acuity.

It can fill in the gaps to allow you to go about your day without impaired vision. Eventually, though, cataracts get so bad you need to have them removed and replaced during cataract surgery.

What Are The Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts create a slow degradation of your eyesight, which you won’t notice for years. But eventually, it will be impossible for your brain to fill in what the cataract is blocking.

Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Blurry images
  • A dim feeling to everything
  • Trouble seeing at night, especially with bright lights in the dark
  • Sensitivity to glare and lights
  • Halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in your glasses or contacts prescription
  • A yellow tinge to your eyesight
  • Needing more light to read than you used to

Most of these symptoms don’t affect people until they are in their sixties or seventies. But cataracts can impact your vision before that.

Pay attention to the changes going on in your eyes. Then, notify your eye doctor if anything drastic begins to happen.

Do you need a cataract screening? Schedule an appointment at Envue Eye and Laser Center in Oxon Hill, MD, to check the health of your natural lenses.

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