5 Signs That Point To Cataracts

An elderly woman smiling and looking away from the camera while holding a smartphone

Our eyesight can face many different problems during our lifetime. These problems often have very similar symptoms.

To successfully treat these issues, they must be correctly diagnosed. If you are having any kind of vision problems, you should set up an appointment with Arizona Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

Our ophthalmologists can look for signs of vision problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

For older patients, cataracts are particularly something to keep an eye out for. They naturally occur in everyone at a certain age. They can even develop early due to various other risk factors. Keep reading for 5 signs that point to cataracts!

1. Poor Vision

Cataracts literally block your eyesight. To see, you need light to enter into the eye through the cornea, pupil, and lens.

The light needs to reach the retina at the back of the interior eye. Cataracts stop this light in the lens where they develop. As they mature, they take up more space in the lens and become opaque, letting in less and less light.

Cataracts are not an external growth, but rather a change in the arrangement of proteins inside of the lens. This is why they cannot simply be removed from your lens.

Instead, a surgeon removes the entire lens and replaces it with an artificial one. It is even possible for this synthetic lens to improve your vision beyond what it was before you had a cataract!

2. Light Sensitivity

Not all cataracts are the same. Depending on where they grow, they are more likely to cause different symptoms.

When cataracts grow from around the perimeter of the lens towards the center, they may cause intense glare. Cortical cataracts grow into wedges that look like the spokes on a bicycle wheel.

They can cause light to scatter and refract inside the eye. This makes your eyes extra sensitive to light.

3. Halos and Double Vision

Cataracts can have other effects on your vision as well. The refraction inside of the eye may cause you to experience rings, or “halos”, forming around light fixtures.

This can be particularly distracting at night while driving. Your vision is already impacted from such a small amount of light being blocked by the cataracts.

Seeing several images of something in one eye is another disorienting thing that can happen when you have cataracts. If you feel unsafe to drive, you are likely well past due when you should have your cataracts removed.

4. Faded Colors

Cataracts also affect how you perceive colors. This is because cataracts themselves are yellowish-brown. This makes your vision take on the same muddy hue.

This lack of contrast is difficult to notice at first, but can make distinguishing one object from another even more difficult.

5. Risk Factors

There are many different habits that may contribute to early cataract development. If one or more of the following describes your lifestyle and you notice your vision worsening, it could be causing any number of vision problems.

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Lots of time in the sunlight outside
  • Diabetes
  • Using steroid medication

Concerned that you could have cataracts? Schedule a cataract screening at Arizona Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Scottsdale, AZ today!

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