A cataract is an eye disease in which the crystalline lens of the eye becomes clouded. This is a very common eye disease in senior patients and is almost expected to develop in more than half the American population by the age of 80. Besides aging, there are several risk factors associated with the development of cataracts:
• Exposure to UV rays
• Long-term use of some medications, such as steroids
• Family history of cataracts
• As the result of injury
• Or may even be present at birth
In the early stages of cataract development, vision changes may not be noticeable. As the clouding of the lens progresses, the individual may experience difficulty discerning road signs at far distances or small print on medicine bottles up close. Vision continues to become more cloudy or hazy. A very common symptom of cataracts is difficulty driving at night due to increased glare from headlights. Halos may also be noticed around lights. The brightness of colors dims with time, although often this isn’t apparent until after the cataract has been removed.
Typically, most people wait until the cataracts are interfering with daily activities before having them removed. That is why it is important to see your eye doctor for regular eye exams, especially if you fall into any of the risk factors that are listed above. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection, quitting smoking and knowing your family medical history are important steps you can take now. Don’t wait if you are experiencing symptoms or vision changes. Schedule your eye exam online today!
Dr. Amy L. Salter
Eye Doctor | Doctors Vision Center