Understanding the Symptoms and Treatments for Cataracts
June is Cataract Awareness Month
Cataracts are a common eye condition that often affects people as they age and can cause blindness if left untreated. By age 80, most people either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. June is Cataract Awareness Month and Lighthouse Guild is spreading the word that early diagnosis and treatment can help preserve vision. It is important for people to recognize cataract symptoms so they don’t delay in getting effective treatment.
Know the Symptoms and Treatments
A cataract is a clouding of a lens in your eye. Leading causes are age, smoking, and diabetes, with increased risk from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight and a family history of cataracts. Cataracts may also develop after eye surgery or an eye injury.
“Early intervention is key,” says Dr. Bruce Rosenthal, Chief of Low Vision Services, Lighthouse Guild. “The best way to know if your symptoms are caused by cataracts or another eye disorder is to see an eye care professional for a vision test and comprehensive dilated eye exam.”
Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Seeing faded colors
- Glare, with headlights, lamp, or sunlight appearing too bright
- Seeing a halo around lights
- Worse vision at night
- Double vision/seeing multiple images
- Having to change your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription often
“The early symptoms of cataracts may improve with new glasses, antiglare sunglasses, magnifying lenses, or brighter lighting,” Dr. Rosenthal explains. “But if you don’t see enough improvement in your vision, you may need surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens.” Surgery needed on both eyes is usually done separately, about four weeks apart.”