June is Cataract Awareness Month
As you age, it seems the risk of many conditions increases. Cataracts are different in the way that they are a natural part of ageing in many species; they are a leading cause of visual impairment. Eventually, the clear lens in the front of the eye becomes harder and yellow, becoming cloudy. The now opaque lens is a cataract, which prevent some light from entering your eye and makes it difficult to see. Cataracts do not spread from one eye to the other, but they typically develop at roughly the same time. At first, they may be difficult to detect, but earliest identification is typically at your eye care provider, making yearly exams imperative as you age to monitor the change.
Moving forward, here are some early signs to look for:
- Cloudy, not crisp vision: one of the earliest signs is seeing “fuzzy spots” or aberrations in your vision. These are distinct from floaters.
- Difficulty seeing or driving at night: it is reported that patients experience gradual worsening of nighttime vision, and night vision may become darker or dim.
- Increased light sensitivity: discomfort with bright lights is also common, and patients typically report seeing more starburst effects.
- Appearance of glare or halos: these may become worse at night or in bright conditions.
Cataracts, again, are a normal part of the ageing process, and they are not an emergency. The process is similar to this: after adequate findings at an initial consultation at your regular provider, a referral is made to an ophthalmologist for cataract removal and lens replacement. There are several options for the lens replacement, and you will choose one that best fits your lifestyle and expectations post-surgery. Post-surgery, plan to return for scheduled visits at your usual eye care provider to ensure proper and timely healing.
As always, we look forward to serving you through all stages of life. We hope to see you at the yearly exam, but please reach out sooner if you are experiencing any symptoms listed above or if you have any new or ongoing concerns.