In order to understand cataract symptoms, it is useful to review how the eye works to provide vision. Our eye functions much like a camera. The natural lens focuses images onto the back of the eye so we can see clearly, much like the lens of a camera focusing images onto film for a clear picture. At birth, our natural lens is clear, but as we age it yellows and hardens. In addition, the lens may become cloudy. This condition is called a cataract. If your vision seems hazy, or if you’re having more trouble with nightime glare or daylight sun sensitivity, you likely ar experiencing the symptoms of cataracts.
Cataracts are a result of the natural aging process. Everyone over the age of 60 will at some point develop cataracts. As the lens becomes opaque, vision becomes more blurred. Most people choose to have cataracts treated in their mid-60s, but this age can range from early 50s to late 70s, depending on genetic and environmental factors.
Cataract symptoms include a gradual dulling of colors, noticing things that were white now appear yellowish, diffuse halos around lights, significant glare from oncoming headlights, increased sunlight sensitivity, difficulty reading in low light, blurred or double vision, and a frequent need to change your glasses prescription. Often people in their 60s or 70s find they start to see better up close than they previously could. That’s a function of the cataract affecting your vision, not a sign you’ve discovered the fountain of youth! A cataract will progress until eventually there is a complete loss of vision in that eye.
Surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. This is a very common and routine surgery, with over 3 million cataracts removed annually in the United States. You should consider surgery when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with your daily activities. If you are experiencing any of these common cataract symptoms, you should be evaluated by a cataract specialist. During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens will be removed and a clear lens implant will be inserted in it’s place to restore your vision after cataract surgery. Learn more about your Lens Replacement Options here.
Advanced lens implants allow us to deliver remarkable vision after cataract surgery, especially when compared to what you migh remember from a parent or grandparent years ago. Lens implants such as Symfony, Tecnis, ReSTOR and Crystalens, allow us to personalize the post-surgical vision to suit your lifestyle and provide a fuller range of vision without glasses afterward – similar to what you enjoyed in your mid-40s.
To find out if you have a cataract, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Zimm. Call us or submit an appointment request with your preferred date and time.