How Old Should I Be For A Cataract Screening?

Older man reading about cataracts on his phone

If you have vision problems, you should always contact your eye doctor immediately. If you have cataracts, sometimes it’s a waiting game.

Why? Most people won’t start developing cataracts until they are around forty years old.

Even when they start developing, it may take years before they affect your vision. So when should you start going in for cataract screenings?

What is a Cataract?

A cataract occurs when proteins in the eye break down and begin clumping together. These clumps of proteins begin to gain so much mass that they block light.

When the light becomes blocked from your eyes, you lose vision.

Cataracts also cause other symptoms. These include:

  • Distorted vision
  • Glare
  • Faded colors
  • Double vision

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it does not mean you are suffering from cataracts. To be safe, you should set up an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure.

You can do that right now with Arizona Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Glendale, AZ.

There are actually several kinds of cataracts. They differ based on how they form inside of the lens and are associated with different symptoms.

  • A nuclear cataract grows from the center of the lens. This is the most common form of cataract and causes the lens to harden slowly. Your vision may actually improve during the beginning stages of cataract development. This is only temporary and will cause a worsening vision over time. This phenomenon is “second sight”, but it does not last long.
  • A cortical cataract grows on the edge of the lens. They create triangular clefts that point inwards. These formations scatter light into the eye, causing glare and difficulty with contrast.
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts grow on the back of the lens. They are beneath the lens capsule, which is the membrane that holds the lens in place. These cataracts cause halos to form around bright lights.

What Happens During a Cataract Screening?

During your cataract screening, you will have a comprehensive eye exam. Comprehensive eye exams determine what eye problems you have if you have them at all, and how best to fix them.

When you are being tested for cataracts, you can expect the following:

  • You will need to disclose your medical history, as well as any hereditary issues. You’ll also need to mention if you have other eye conditions or issues like diabetes. To have the most accurate information, you should list medications you’re on.
  • Tests that determine your current prescription level. This includes an eyeglass exam, a distance vision exam, and your peripheral vision.
  • Tests that allow the doctor to watch your eye health. A good example is the dilated eye exam, which uses eye drops to cause your pupils to open up. This allows the doctor to look inside your eye. Dilated eye exams are the only way to see some parts of the eye.

Is it time for a cataract screening? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale, AZ today!

More Blogs