By the age of 75, half of all Americans have cataracts. Even though cataracts are common, they can be severe and cause you to lose your vision. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment in adults. Fortunately, there are ways to slow the progression of cataracts with the combination of lifestyle changes, medications and surgery.
Cataracts range in severity, but all cases should be treated rigorously to prevent vision loss. By catching cataracts early, you can work with your ophthalmologist to determine the best course of action.
Cataract Warning Signs
Below are the warning signs that you may have cataracts. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your eye doctor immediately. While cataracts are not curable, they can be successfully managed. If you can prevent them from growing bigger, you can protect your vision.
-Cloudy vision. The most common sign of cataracts is cloudy vision. These fuzzy spots typically start off small and grow to larger sizes. They also become more persistent and can interfere with daily activities.
-Trouble seeing at night. While it is more difficult to see at night, cataracts cause a noticeable decrease in vision in dark settings. Cataracts often cause the vision to dim, which is why nighttime vision becomes more limited.
-Light sensitivity. People who have cataracts often experience sensitivity to bright lights. You may notice that you have to squint when you’re in bright conditions, or you may experience headaches when you see flashing lights.
-Halos and glares. When the lens become cloudy, people with cataracts often notice the appearance of halos and glares. This happens because light passes through the cataracts and causes distortions in the field of vision.
What Happens if You Do Have Cataracts?
If your eye doctor confirms cataracts, there are a handful of things you can do to slow their progression. Of course, don’t wait to see your eye doctor to find out that you have cataracts. See your ophthalmologist regularly, as many people won’t notice vision changes until the cataracts have grown.
Cataracts do not develop quickly, so you will have time to discuss your options with your ophthalmologist. This includes:
-Eating a healthy diet with leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and citrus fruits
-Wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors
-Switching to a stronger eyeglass prescription
-Using a brighter lamp or magnifying glass when reading
-Having surgery to replace your lens
If you are concerned that you have cataracts, or your eye doctor has already confirmed cataracts, contact Empire Retina Consultants for personalized retinal treatment options.