Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear.
If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.
Fortunately, we can remove that cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens. We even have the technology so that the replacement lens can also correct vision for reading, at a distance and in between. The replacement of the cloudy lens is what’s called cataract surgery.
Here are some vision changes you may notice if you have a cataract:
• Blurry vision
• Seeing double
• Being extra sensitive to light
• Trouble seeing well at night, or needing more light when you read
• Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead
What causes cataracts?
Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that happen starting around age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy.
Other reasons you may get cataracts include:
• Having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts
• Certain medical problems, such as diabetes
• Having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body
• Having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
• Using certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause early formation of cataracts.
Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Other cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors cannot predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.
You may be able to slow down your development of cataracts.
Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to do this. Wear sunglasses that screen out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. You may also wear regular eyeglasses that have a clear, anti-UV coating. Talk with us to learn more.