How will I know I have Cataracts?
Cataract symptoms: what to look out for
A cataract occurs when there is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Most cataracts develop slowly, and cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision impairment in Australia, so it’s important to know what to look out for.
Our eyes can adjust to small changes in vision which allows cataracts to remain undetected for years. Only once the cataracts become large and affect a significant amount of your lens do people often begin to notice a change in their vision.
Occasionally cataracts can develop quickly (over a few months). Regular check-ups are important to ensure early detection of cataracts.
Early signs and symptoms
- Blurred vision
Blurred vision is often the first sign of a cataract. A cloudy lens blocks some of the light that would normally pass through into the eye. As well as blocking some of the light, the cloudy lens also disrupts the light that passes through, further contributing to the blurred vision.
- Glare sensitivity
The lens focuses the light that comes through very specifically on the back of your eye. When you have a cataract, the light is scattered by the cloudy lens creating glare and sensitivity to bright lights.
- Faded colours
As the cataract forms, the lens hardens and becomes discoloured. This hard, physical barrier blocks light and acts as a yellow filter. This means that the colours you see become duller.
- Double vision
As the light coming through can be split by the lens which no longer focuses the light this can result in the incoming light splitting into two, instead of focusing at a single point. This can lead to double vision.
- Halos around lights
When light scatters, it can also produce a halo around bright objects.
- Poor night vision
The cloudy barrier means that vision is worsened. Darkness conditions, especially in combination with glare sensitivity can further significantly reduce your vision.
Treatment for cataracts in the advanced stages requires cataract surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial clear lens. This is a relatively simple procedure and will generally improve your vision significantly.
Ultraviolet light from the sun is believed to contribute to the development of cataracts. Wearing a good pair of sunglasses that have UV protection in their lenses is important for preventing cataracts.
Having regular eye examinations is also important for identifying cataracts at the earliest stages. If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts or have any concerns you can give us a call on 02 6382 4000 to book an appointment, or book an appointment online at www.youngeyes.com.au.