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What Eye Problems Look Like?

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are progressive, painless clouding of the natural, internal lens of the eye. They block light, making it difficult to see clearly. Over an extended period of time, they can cause blindness.

How Cataracts Affect Your Vision?

If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, then the image you’ll see is blurry.

cataracts-affect-vision

Cataract Symptom: Blurry Vision

The blurry vision at any distance is the most common cataract symptom. Your view may look filmy, foggy or cloudy. As the cataracts get worse overtime, less light will reach the retina. People with cataract will have difficulty seeing and driving at night.

Cataract Symptom: Glare

Another early symptom of cataracts is glare or sensitivity to light. You may have trouble seeing in the bright sunlight, indoor lights which once didn’t bother yoy may now seem too bright, driving at night may become a problem due to glare caused by street lights and oncoming headlights, you may have halos.

Cataract Symptom: Double Vision

Sometimes, cataracts can cause double vision also known as diplopia when you look with one eye. With cataracts, the images seem to appear double even with one eye open.

Cataract Symptom: Color Changes

Cataracts can affect your color vision by making some hues to seem faded. Your vision may gradually take a brownish or yellowish tinge. Initially, you may not notice this discoloration but over time, it may make it tough for you to distinguish blues and purples.

Cataract Symptom: Second Sight

Sometimes, a cataract may temporarily improve a person’s ability to see the close-ups, since they act as a stronger lens. Also called as a second sight, since people who once needed reading glasses will no longer need it. However, as the cataract worsens, this goes away and the vision worsens again.

Cataract Symptom: New Prescription

Frequent changes to your eyelashes or contact lens prescription can also be a sign of cataracts since they are usually progressive that means they get worsen over time.

Who Gets Cataracts?

The majority of cataracts are associated with aging. Over half of Americans above 65 have cataracts. Exposure to ultraviolet light can also increase the risk of cataract and other eye conditions.

What Causes Cataracts?

The exact cause of cataracts is not known.

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

Most cataracts can be diagnosed with an eye exam. Eye doctor will test your vision and examine the eyes with a slit lamp microscope.

Surgery for Cataracts

If you have vision loss due to cataracts that can’t be corrected with contact lenses or glasses then you may need surgery. During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis and it is safe and extremely effective to improve vision. If the cataracts are present on both eyes, then surgery is done on one eye at a time.

Types of Cataract Surgery

There are two types of cataract surgery. The more common type is phacoemulsification in which the doctor makes a tiny incision in the eye and breaks up the lens using the ultrasound waves. Then the lens is removed and an intraocular lens (IOL) is put in its place. This will eliminate the need for thick glasses or a contact lens post surgery.

Cataract Surgery Innovations

Recent innovations in cataract surgery can correct both the distant and near vision and minimize or eliminate the need for reading glasses post surgery. The conventional monofocal lenses will correct for distance vision and you’ll still need reading glasses post surgery.

What to Expect After Surgery?

Your eyes may feel itchy and sensitive to light. You’ll be prescribed eye drops to aid healing and asked to wear an eye shield or glasses for protection. It will take around eight weeks for your eyes to heal completely, though your vision will improve soon after surgery.

Cataract Surgery Risks

Risks from cataract surgery are rare. The most common risks are infection, bleeding and changes in eye pressure. All there are treatable when caught early.

Should You Have Cataract Surgery?

Whether or not having a cataract surgery, is up to you and your doctor. Rarely, they need to be removed right away since they affect vision slowly and over time. Most people wait to have surgery until the contacts or glasses no longer improve their vision enough.

Tips to Prevent Cataracts

Follow these tips to lower your risk of developing cataracts:

  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
  • Keep diabetes under control
  • Always wear a hat or sunglasses in the sun

Here you can read the Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Follow After Cataract Surgery

 

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