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How to Spot Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions out there. It makes the lens of the eye cloudy, causing blurred and impaired vision. Most commonly, having cataracts is compared to trying to see through a cloudy or fogged up window.

So what causes cataracts, exactly? Most people are born with lenses in their eyes that are soft, smooth, flexible, and clear. However, over time, those lenses can become yellowed and tough with the onset of cataracts.

As cataracts form, your eye starts to lose the ability to focus light. This leads to the common cataract symptoms like blurred vision, poor night vision, and the appearance of halos around lights. The condition affects more than half of adults over age 80. However, most people start to observe presbyopia, or difficulty with near vision, in their 40s, and cataracts can begin as early as age 50. Most people seek surgical intervention in their 60s.

The good news is that cataracts are very treatable, and you have options for treatment.

Causes of Cataracts

Aging is the most common cause of cataracts.

However, it’s not the sole cause. Cataracts can occur for a number of reasons when the lens tissue in your eye is damaged. Sadly, even children and babies can suffer from cataracts.

Other factors that can cause cataracts include:

  • Smoking

  • Alcohol use

  • Excessive sunlight exposure

  • Diabetes

  • Steroid usage (long-term)

  • Genetics and family history

  • Other eye conditions or injuries

  • Air pollution

Signs of Cataracts

What are the symptoms of cataracts? Blurry vision and difficulty seeing at night are the two most common.

However, if you or someone you know is experiencing any these symptoms, you might want to have your eyes checked.

  • Poor night vision. Formation of cataracts makes it physically difficult for light to enter your eye, making it harder to see at night.

  • “Cloudy” vision or eyes. Cataracts can cause a milky, foggy appearance in your vision that’s visibly noticeable in the eye.

  • Glare. Light might appear too bright due to cataracts, causing strain in your eyes.

  • Seeing halos around lights. Fogginess in the lens causes the appearance of circles around things like headlights and street lamps.

  • Needing more light to read. Since cataracts affect the ability to focus light, it makes it harder to see fine details like print.

  • Colors appear less vivid. This is caused by the yellowing of the lens, which makes it harder to discern colors.

  • Double vision. When the lens gets cloudy, light doesn’t enter the eye correctly, causing you to see double.

  • Increasing nearsightedness. Similar to how cataracts affect night vision—damaged lens tissue lets in less light, making it harder to see.

Let us clear things up for you.

Luckily, cataract treatment is very standardized and very common. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed.

And remember, you have options.

To get checked for cataracts or learn which form of cataract treatment is best for you, request an appointment today online or give us a call at 402.933.6600