What Are the First Signs of Cataracts?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), roughly 25 million people over the age of 40 in the United States are affected by cataracts. In fact, cataracts are the primary cause of vision impairment in seniors. Moreover, the AAO states that more than half of Americans have a cataract in one or both eyes by the time they reach the age of 75. The talented staff at Wichita Optometry P.A. – your Wichita eye doctor – can recognize the early signs of cataracts and can provide treatment to keep you seeing the beauty of the world clearly.
What are Cataracts?
With time, the crystalline lens of the eye hardens due to protein deposits forming yellowed or cloudy areas. These deposits – cataracts – cause vision to blur, color perception to dull, and night vision to wane.
Over time, cataracts become increasingly worse so treatment to slow the progress needs to begin as early in the condition’s development as possible. A trained optometrist can conduct eye exams to determine the progression of your cataracts and develop a plan for treatment.
Early Signs of Cataract Formation
Proper treatment is largely dependent upon the type of cataracts you have and the progression of the condition. There are some early signs of cataract formation that should not be ignored. Visit your Wichita eye doctor if you experience any symptoms. They will provide a series of eye exams to determine the cause.
Often, in the earliest stages of cataract development, there is no noticeable change to vision. Only a regular eye exam performed by a trained optometrist can detect the presence of cataracts before they present visual disturbances.
One of the earliest vision issues noticed is often cloudy vision. Visible fuzzy spots in one’s field of vision that make daily activities more difficult are one of the first indications of cataract formation.
Another early vision disturbance is gradually worsening nighttime eyesight. Cataracts are known to cause less light to enter the eye leading to dimmer than normal vision. It can even cause the lens of the eye to appear tinged with yellow or brown.
For those with an emerging cataract problem, light can pose another problem. Without the ability to properly focus light entering the eye, it can cause the eyes to become increasingly sensitive to light causing discomfort, squinting, and the development of sudden headaches.
Finally, as the lens of the eye continues to cloud and harden those with developing cataracts may notice ringlets – or halos – and glare around sources of light. This is caused by the diffraction of light as it passes through a cataract.
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