A “cataract” is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. Most cataracts are the result of aging, though some form as a result of disease, injury, or genetic factors.
Cataracts are a leading cause of visual disability in people over the age of 65, and cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States today.
Adult cataracts develop slowly and painlessly with gradual loss of vision. If left untreated, cataracts will worsen over time and interfere with everyday activities such as reading or driving.
Night vision problems, including glare and halos, are especially common. When cataracts are in their early stages, people can be helped by brighter lighting and possibly stronger glasses.
As cataracts worsen, however, most people do require surgery to correct the problem. Currently, there are no eye drops or medications that can reverse the formation of a cataract.
But how do you know your cataracts are ready to be removed? Most eye doctors recommend that you have cataract surgery when your cataracts start to affect your daily activities and quality of life. Keep reading for signs that your cataracts may be doing precisely that!
Your Struggle with Daily Tasks
The harder it becomes to see, the more you may find it difficult to complete everyday activities like watching TV, reading, cleaning, cooking. If you find yourself avoiding activities or hobbies you once enjoyed because “it is just hard to see,” then you should consider having your vision checked to see if cataracts are slowly reducing your vision and taking away the things you like to do!
You have Trouble Driving
Driving can be difficult for people with cataracts for several reasons. First, cataracts make it hard to see in low light so other cars, signs, and objects on the road are simply harder to see. Headlights from oncoming cars at night can create glare which can further distract or prevent you from seeing things around you.
You may find yourself simply avoiding night driving. But driving at night is sometimes hard to avoid – and until you have cataract surgery, you may be safer staying off the road after dark whenever possible.
You may also be concerned about taking your next drivers’ license test because you’ve noticed it harder to read or see road signs, pavement marking, etc. Generally, you need vision of 20/40 or better, with or without glasses, to pass your test.
It is always a good idea to have your vision checked regularly to make sure you are ready for your next license exam! If cataracts are found, you can talk with your doctor about options for better vision.
You are Sensitive To Light
Light sensitivity is one of the primary symptoms of having cataracts. If you find your eyes too sensitive to light, it can be challenging to complete everyday tasks.
You may experience intense glare from light sources. Seeing halos around lights is a sign of advanced cataracts.
These symptoms can make it harder to work on a computer or even use a cell phone. Lowering the brightness of lights can help, but less light then makes it harder to see.
The combination of intense glare and light sensitivity can make it hard to complete simple tasks.
What To Do?
Usually, people rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses to get improved vision. And, these may be good options for someone with early cataracts.
But because cataracts progress over time, the ability to correct vision with glasses or contacts will also decline over time.
Slowly, you may experience more and more vision loss. Having your eyes and vision checked by an eye care professional regularly for the early signs of cataracts is a good plan to protect your eye and vision health.
Ready to learn more about cataracts and options for better vision? Schedule a cataract screening at Morganton Eye in Shelby, NC today!