One of the leading causes of vision problems among people 60 years or older is a condition called cataracts. People suffering from cataracts explain the condition as trying to see through a fogged-up or frosty window. This is because the clouding appears on the lens of an individual’s eye. This makes it difficult for patients suffering from this condition to drive a car at night, read properly, and in worse conditions, fail to see other people’s faces clearly.
Advancement in age or injury to the eye can affect the eye’s lens tissue, which can lead to cataracts. Also, an individual can inherit genetic disorders that can predispose him or her to developing the condition. Some people, owing to diabetes, prolonged use of steroids, past eye surgery, or other conditions, can develop cataracts
The thickening and hardening of the lens over time lead to the eventual clouding of the lens. This clouding prevents light from reaching the retina, thereby obstructing clear vision. The early onset of cataracts is slow and hardly affects an individual’s vision. However, as the condition continues to worsen, an individual’s vision will become even more blurry. The obstruction in one eye will normally differ from the obstruction in the other and cause vision differences between the eyes.
Since the development of cataracts is usually slow, one may not notice the cloudiness early on. As the process continues, the cloudiness increases and the light getting into the eye becomes distorted, thereby affecting vision. The leading signs of cataracts include:
Dim, clouded, or blurry vision.
Poor vision, especially at night.
Eyes becoming sensitive to light.
Requiring additional light to read or perform other activities.
Requiring frequent contact lens or eyeglass prescriptions.
Double vision for each eye.
Seeing a halo around a light source.
As the name suggests, this type affects the center of the lens. Often, it may display signs of nearsightedness, but it gradually deteriorates through further clouding and yellowing/browning of the lens.
This type affects the lens’s edges. It begins with the formation of wedge-shaped streaks on the edges of the eye’s lens. These begin to extend to the eye’s center and prevent adequate light from getting to the lens.
This type affects the back part of the eye’s lens. It begins with a small area on the light’s path near the back of the lens that appears opaque. This type is usually responsible for the difficulty in reading and progresses relatively fast.
This type is where an individual is born with or develops early in childhood. In addition to being genetic, it can also be the result of myotonic dystrophy, rubella, neurofibromatosis, or galactosemia.
If you detect changes in your vision, regardless of your age, it is important to go for an eye exam. Sudden changes in your vision, eye pain, double vision, or sudden headaches can be a sign of this condition.
If a doctor diagnoses a patient with cataracts, he or she can prescribe contact lenses or glasses. These are ideal in the early stages of the condition. However, if the condition is so bad that it affects daily life even with prescription contacts or eyeglasses, one may need to undergo cataract surgery. This safe and effective surgery involves the removal and replacement of an individual’s lens.
To know more about the signs and treatment of cataracts, visit Seabert Eye Care at our offices in Burleson, Texas. You can also call (817) 857-8700 to book an appointment today.