Cataract symptoms are most commonly described as foggy vision.
Everything appears as if you are looking through a dirty window, or misted-up camera lens.
You might just notice that your eyesight is slightly blurred, giving the effect of looking through a net curtain or a steamed up window pane.
Sufferers feel like they are constantly walking around in a fog.
Many become afraid to drive after dark. Cataracts are an unpleasant aspect of aging but there IS help!
Various other fears may take hold, limiting your day-to-day functions.
Cataracts usually cause:
1. Blurry vision.
2. Difficulty with depth perception.
3. Trouble with glare, especially in bright sunlight, or while driving at night.
4. Less color clarity.
5. A gradual increase in nearsightedness, requiring frequent changes toprescription eyeglasses.
6. Occasional double vision.
Some people have experienced a phenomenon they describe as “new sight”. They claim their reading vision has improved, because of the increased nearsightedness caused by the swelling cataract.
Changing the prescription in your eyeglasses may help for a while, but as the cataracts transform and progress, your vision will become cloudy. Stronger prescriptions will no longer help you to see better.
Cataracts do not have any visible signs that others would notice, like red or bloodshot eyes. They grow gradually, and are usually not painful, unless they are in an extremely advanced state. Rapid changes in your vision could mean some other eye disease, and you should have your eyes evaluated by a professional right away.
Understanding cataract symptoms
Because blurred vision may mean you are developing cataracts it is important to watch out for this most common and earliest of cataractsymptoms.
Another of the most common and early cataract symptoms is the appearance of previously unnoticed double vision.
Remember, cataracts can give rise to glare problems with lights or sunshine.
Night driving can become more difficult with oncoming traffic headlights giving you glare and vision problems.
With cataracts you may also notice that bright colours tend to become paler and dull.
The exact type of cataract will determine the actual vision symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur.
When a central cortical cataract develops, it can initially cause a slight improvement in a person’s near vision, you will often hear “granny was reading without her glasses recently”
Unfortunately, this improved eyesight does not last and the vision gain will recede as the cataract develops.
A sub capsular form of cataract however may not initially give rise to any visual symptoms until it has matured.
If you are having any problems with your vision do not hesitate and get in touch immediately with your optometrist or eye doctor.
Symptoms and other cataract facts from the National Eye Institute
Types of cataracts
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, mostly because many people do not know that the condition can be cured. Treatments for the condition are not usually available in developing countries, either. This has caused approximately 18 million people worldwide to go blind as a result of untreated cataracts.
The condition can affect children. However, since the growth is gradual, it is generally considered an adult problem. Cataracts most commonly affect people over the age of 70 years.
Age related cataracts
No attempts at halting the development of cataracts has been shown to be effective. But advances in medical procedures have allowed for the successful removal of the growth. Small incision surgery, the use of viscoelastics, and the development of intraocular lenses are methods that have been proven very effective in restoring sight quite quickly, for most patients.
Despite these advances, cataracts continue to be a huge public health issue. As the world population increases, and the average life expectancy is extended, this problem will only get worse.
Secondary cataracts are usually caused by other eye problems. If you had treatment for glaucoma, have diabetes-related eye problems, or have had cataract surgery, secondary cataracts may develop.
In most cases, secondary cataracts develop over time, ranging from a few weeks to a few years after cataract surgery. The cataract symptoms are the same as they were the first time you had cataracts, so see your doctor right away if you suspect your cataracts may have grown back.
A traumatic blow to your head, close to the eye area, may cause a cataract growth. You may notice the damage as soon as a few weeks after the trauma, or it may be several years later before you notice any loss of vision at all. Traumatic cataracts are also believed to be caused by exposure to alkaline chemicals.
Quick traumatic cataract developments are believed to be caused by penetrating eye injuries. However, most of these injuries result in an immediate loss of the eye.
This rare form of cataracts affects newborns. Many of these cases are insignificant enough to go unnoticed, and are often left untreated.
If the problem does not affect the child’s vision, there is no need for surgery. However, if vision problems are an issue, then the lens may be removed and replaced with a synthetic lens.
In most cases, this rare type of cataract is caused by an overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or some other form of radiation. Some studies show that an overexposure to sunlight over an extended period may double your chances of developing cortical cataracts.
These studies are inconclusive, and the very existence of radiation cataracts are still under question. What has been classified as radiation cataracts might well be another eye disease altogether.
Your eyes are a very delicate and important part of your body. If you notice any cataract symptoms or other vision problems, see your doctor right away.