You love the independence of your car because you can go and come as you please. But suddenly you are having difficulty seeing signs and it is particularly difficult to drive at night. Familiar surroundings look dim and not as clear as they should be. Maybe you think you got the wrong glasses prescription last time. If you have been noticing changes lately and they are getting gradually worse, you may have a cataract. Let’s take a look at warning signs to help you determine if you might have a cataract and then what you can do about it. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can have it corrected, and return to your normal activities without worry.
Some Things are Just Inevitable
Death and taxes are the common references when you mention something is inevitable. Now you can add in cataracts. By the age of eighty, more than 50% of Americans will have already had a cataract or they actually have one right now! So don’t panic; cataracts are very common and are easily corrected.
Many people consider cataracts a part of growing older, but in fact you can have them in your 40s and 50s. They are just so small and insignificant at that point, that they don’t affect your vision. As they grow larger and turn more yellow in color your vision becomes impaired and they need to be removed.
Common Signs of Cataracts
It is important to understand exactly what a cataract is before you can appreciate the early signs. The normal lens inside our eyes is clear, and it reflects light onto the retina which in turn sends that image to our brain.
Over time that clear lens becomes cloudy like looking through a foggy windshield. At first we hardly notice it, but by about age sixty, it can begin to slowly affect our vision. That is a cataract and unless it is replaced with a clear lens, it can impede your ability to do most day to day activities. Some common issues to look for:
- Your vision is becoming dim or cloudy and you don’t see things clearly
- Driving is becoming more difficult especially at night or in low light
- Watching television is becoming a chore
- Your vision is distorted and blurred
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing halos
- Colors look faded
- Needing brighter light to read
Of course some of these symptoms can be caused by other eye issues, so only a comprehensive eye exam will give you the proper diagnosis.
How is a Cataract Found?
If you are beginning to suspect you may have a cataract, contact Buda Vision Source to schedule a complete eye exam.
Once you reach the age of 60, you should have dilated eye exams at least once every two years by an eye care professional. If you have other health issues like diabetes, heart disease and glaucoma, it is recommended that you go annually.
During this comprehensive exam, your retina and optic nerve will be checked to make sure they are healthy. Another important test will be performed to determine how much pressure you have inside your eyes along with a basic visual acuity test to check your prescription. If the doctor finds evidence of a cataract, he will refer you to a surgical specialist in your area for its removal. You can return to Buda Vision Source after surgery for your follow up.
Don’t delay if you suspect you may have a cataract. The surgery is safe and effective and in fact is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the US.
The Treatment for Cataracts
In less than thirty minutes you can have your cloudy lens removed and a new clear artificial lens inserted in its place. The typical procedure involves breaking up the old lens with either ultra-sound or a new femtosecond laser. The old cloudy lens is then removed safely and the new lens is put into place. You will not feel the lens or notice anything other than your improved vision.
In certain cases you can decide to choose a special lens that will correct some or all of your visual disorders, like nearsightedness or maybe presbyopia so you can read without glasses.
Whereas in the past, post cataract patients needed glasses for many activities, now technology allows you to see clearly for all your activities and your lifestyle. But it all starts with your comprehensive eye exam.
If you or someone you know suspects they may have a cataract, contact Buda Vision Source.
Time to enjoy clear vision today and for the rest of your life.