Inside all of our eyes is a small lens which focuses our vision. This lens is clear when we are young, but naturally becomes cloudy and foggy as we age. The hazy lens is called a cataract. Since cataracts are a normal aging process, everyone will eventually develop cataracts if they live long enough.
Causes of Cataracts
For most people, cataracts are part of the normal aging process. Cataracts can also develop in younger patients as a result of injury, long-term use of certain medications such as steroids, or chronic illnesses like diabetes. Patients who smoke cigarettes also tend to develop cataracts earlier than non-smokers.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts cause decreased vision. For most people, the vision changes are slow and gradual, but sometimes vison loss can occur more quickly. Cataracts do not cause pain. Common symptoms include:
- Blurry or double vision
- Glare or sensitivity in bright light
- Halos around lights
- Decreased vision at night, especially while driving
- Difficulty reading small print or using a computer/phone
- Change in glasses prescription
Diagnosis of Cataracts
Since vision loss can occur from numerous causes, a complete dilated eye exam is required to determine if decreased vision is from cataracts or another condition.
Treatment of Cataracts
Cataracts can only be removed with surgery. There are no medicines or eye drops that can improve cataracts. When cataracts interfere with your ability to read, drive, or do the things you enjoy, cataract surgery is a safe, effective, and relatively pain-free option to improve your vision.
Not all cataracts need surgery. If your symptoms are mild, a new glasses prescription may improve your vision. After your eye exam, the doctors at Coleman Eye Center can help you decide the best way to improve your vision.
Click here to learn more about cataract surgery.