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What Are The Most Common Signs of Cataracts?

Are you experiencing blurry vision or having difficulty seeing while driving at night? These are two of the symptoms associated with having cataracts.

Cataract symptoms can be subtle, especially at first. Blurry vision and frequent changes to your prescription might be mistaken for other eye conditions, like refractive errors and presbyopia.

If you suspect that you may have cataracts, it is essential to see your eye doctor. At Shoreline Vision, we provide our patients with comprehensive eye exams that check for many eye conditions, including cataracts.

Once you have been diagnosed, our team can help you determine when you will need cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common signs of cataracts.

Understanding Cataracts

Much like your other senses, your vision has many moving parts working together to help you see. Your pupil expands and constricts to absorb light, and your lens focuses it towards the back of your eye.

From there, your retina and optic nerve pass the information along to your brain, where it is translated into a visible image. Over time, the lens within your eye can become cloudy.

When this happens, it limits the amount of light that can pass through, which causes your vision to appear blurry, faded, and discolored. While these symptoms might be mistaken for other conditions, some signs of cataracts are hard to miss.

Common Signs of Cataracts

Aside from impaired vision, cataracts can also cause several other symptoms. Signs of cataracts include:

  • Poor night vision
  • Needing additional light to read
  • Halos around lights, especially at night
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Faded or yellowing color vision
  • Double vision

During the early stage of having cataracts, you might find yourself needing more frequent prescription changes. While this might improve your vision for a short time, you cannot correct cataracts with glasses or contact lenses.

The only way to effectively treat cataracts and regain your clear vision is by having cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.

Diagnosing Cataracts

The only way to know for sure if you have cataracts is to see your eye doctor. For a diagnosis, you will undergo a comprehensive eye exam, which may include eye dilation, a slit lamp exam, and a retinal exam.

During these tests, your ophthalmologist will assess the type and severity of your cataracts. There are three general types of cataracts, including:

  • Nuclear cataracts, which form in the center of the lens
  • Cortical cataracts, which form on the edges of the lens
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts, which form at the back of the lens

Certain medications and diseases can also cause cataracts to develop, including diabetes, glaucoma, and taking corticosteroids. Injuries and radiation therapy directed at the head can also lead to the eventual formation of cataracts. If you think that your medical history might be contributing to your condition, be sure to mention it during your comprehensive eye exam.

Treatment Options for Cataracts

Surgery is the only way to correct cataracts. Most eye doctors only recommend having cataract surgery when it becomes difficult to complete everyday activities. If you know that you have cataracts but do not need them removed immediately, you can use the time to learn more about the procedure, find a surgeon, and make decisions about your treatment.

There is much to discuss regarding cataract surgery, so make sure to talk to your ophthalmologist about your options. In the meantime, stronger glasses and anti-glare sunglasses to alleviate your symptoms may be recommended. They might also request follow-up visits to track the progression of your cataracts.

Have you noticed changes to your vision? Early detection is critical when dealing with conditions like cataracts.

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