Over half of Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old. In fact, cataracts are a natural part of aging.
Luckily, cataracts are pretty easy and safe to deal with, thanks to cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn if you need cataract surgery!
What is a Cataract?
Cataracts occur when proteins inside of the eyes’ lenses break down. The lens is the transparent tissue inside the eye behind the pupil.
It handles focusing on some of the light that passes through. When these proteins break down, the lens becomes more and more opaque. As the proteins clump together, light is unable to pass through unobstructed.
There are also different kinds of cataracts, depending on where they form in your lens. When you have a cataract, it doesn’t always mean you need cataract surgery.
In some cases, a cataract will not fully develop or impact vision. When this occurs, cataract surgery is not necessary.
If a cataract continues developing, cataract surgery will eventually become necessary. Without cataract surgery, cataracts can cause vision loss and blindness.
The only way to know for sure if you need cataract surgery is to go through a cataract screening. But if you experience some of these symptoms, it’s likely you have a cataract. They include the following:
Most patients with cataracts often describe their vision as being foggy or frosty. It’s also common to have general vision loss that gets worse with cataracts.
Difficulty seeing at night
The blurry vision is particularly noticeable in low light situations. This is especially dangerous if you are driving at night and can’t see well.
Frequent prescription changes
It stands to reason that you will feel the need to get new glasses if your vision starts worsening. For some people with cataracts, they may develop “second sight” for a short time.
This means that your vision improves for a short period of time before continuing to worsen.
Fading and yellowing of colors
With cataracts, it’s not unusual if they turn a yellowish-brown color over time. This means that the light that manages to pass through often looks the same color.
Having cataracts can also make other colors look faded or more washed out than they are.
If you have a cataract, it’s also not uncommon to experience light sensitivity. You may also become more sensitive to glare.
Your cataracts may cause you to temporarily see multiples of anything you try to focus on.
If you notice any changes in your vision, you should report them to your eye doctor. If the problem is cataracts can be determined after you’ve seen an eye care professional.
If the problem is cataracts, cataract surgery is not always the first solution.
The best time to have cataract surgery is when cataracts impact your daily life. This means completing activities like cooking, cleaning, or reading becomes impossible.
Not sure if you could need cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA!