What Is The First Sign Of Cataracts?

What Is The First Sign Of Cataracts?

If you’re getting older, many of your friends might be getting cataracts. You might be asking yourself, “What is the first sign of cataracts?” The problem is that there are no meaningful signs in the earliest stages of cataracts. Many people have difficulty noticing any changes in their vision, which is why regular eye exams from a trusted Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania eye specialist are key for adults over the age of 60.

Vision Changes

Once cataracts start progressing, our patients notice the following signs:

  • Increased Light Sensitivity – eye discomfort in bright indoor lights or sunlight, causing you to squint. You may even develop headaches from flashes of bright light.
  • Halos and Glare –halos and glare around bright lights that is particularly noticeable at night.
  • Difficulty Seeing at Night – nighttime vision that gradually worsens
  • Cloudy Vision – fuzzy spots in your vision, or feeling as if you are looking through a waterfall or dirty windshield

Why do these changes occur?

Cataracts are not a disease but rather a natural part of aging. As the eye ages, proteins break down and deposit and harden on the lens, causing light to scatter rather than focus on the lens. As a result, the vision changes described above, like halo vision or cloudy vision, occur. By age 40, one in five adults will already have early cataract formation in one or both eyes. Cataracts can progress in your 50s, and are usually a concern after age 60. Genetics and lifestyle factors can both influence cataracts, but either way, cataracts usually progress very slowly.

What are the stages of cataracts?

In the early stages, cataracts are typically small and do not significantly impact vision. Most people don’t even know they have one because there are no early-stage symptoms. However, the earlier a cataract is diagnosed, the better, and a routine cataract vision exam at our Cataract Center of Excellence is typically the only way to detect a cataract early on.

Your vision can be significantly impaired with a later-stage cataract, and you may experience blurred, cloudy or double vision. Many of our patients first notice night vision problems while driving. Cataracts may be visibly noticeable in the later stages, appearing as a milky white spot on the lens to partially or fully cloud the lens and create significant difficulty driving, reading or watching television.

What is the remedy?

Because cataracts progress very slowly, vision changes are usually very gradual, so changing your prescription can get you by for quite a few years when you have a cataract. Eventually, however, surgery is the only real option for effective treatment of the cataract. Left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness, so surgery is important. Our surgeon will remove the clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL). We perform cataract surgery safely and effectively. In fact, this surgery is one of the safest surgeries around.

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms or just wondering what is the first sign of cataracts, worry no further. You will be in good hands with the trusted Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania team. Come in and see us for an eye exam. We will check for cataracts and other eye issues like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration during your regular annual eye exam visits.

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