Are you starting to notice that colors are looking faded? Do you have blurry vision? These are signs that you might be developing cataracts. Let’s learn more about cataracts and when people usually start to develop them.
What is a cataract?
In the eye, the lens is clear. You develop cataracts when the lens in your eye goes from clear to cloudy. People describe having cataracts like looking through a foggy or frosty window.
When you have blurry vision from cataracts, it can make driving at night more challenging. They also make it difficult to do detail-oriented tasks or seeing facial expressions. As people get older, cataracts become a very common diagnosis.
When do people get cataracts?
As we age, cataracts become more and more common. At about age 40, the proteins that make up the lens in your eye begin breaking down and clumping together.
When this clumping starts to develop, it makes your lens cloudy, causing a cataract. By the time we reach 80 or older, about half of our peers will have cataracts or had cataract surgery to get rid of them.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
In the beginning, you may not notice any symptoms from your cataracts. As your cataracts develop, it can impact your vision. Some of the symptoms you might experience are:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Faded colors
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Seeing halos around lights
- Experiencing double vision
- Needing new contact/glasses prescriptions in a short period of time.
These symptoms can also be related to other eye conditions, so you should talk to a doctor if you experience any. As cataracts grow, they can cause vision loss.
What are the risk factors for cataracts?
Anyone is at risk for cataracts as you age. You have an increased risk of developing cataracts if you have diabetes. You’re also at an increased risk if you smoke, or drink too much alcohol.
If you want to avoid early cataract development, avoid spending too much time in the sun. You may also develop early cataracts if you have a family history of them, have had an eye injury or surgery, or taken steroids.
If you think you are at risk for cataracts, talk to your doctor about potential ways to lower your risk.
How are cataracts treated?
With cataracts early on, you may be able to treat them with bright light or a new prescription. As they continue developing, you’ll need to consider cataract surgery.
This is the only way to treat cataracts. Doctors recommend cataract surgery if your cataracts begin to impact your everyday activities.
During cataract surgery, your surgeon removes the lens. It is then replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
Before deciding to get cataract surgery, talk with your doctor. They will be able to suggest ways to adjust or change activities so your cataracts do not impact your life.
Do you think that you are developing cataracts? Schedule a cataract screening at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY today!