Did you know that over 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts in one or both eyes? Many people have cataracts that do not cause blurred vision or otherwise prevent them from leading active lives. In these cases, cataract surgery may be unnecessary. When these symptoms make it difficult to live a productive life, it’s time to consider cataract surgery. How do you know?
- Light Sensitivity: Light sensitivity is a common symptom of cataracts, and the glare of bright lights can be incredibly painful. Studies suggest that sensitivity to light is a strong early symptom of cataracts – even more so than other vision changes. That sensitivity could be used to diagnose cataracts before vision changes become more advanced, so schedule an appointment if you notice the glare of the sun or the headlights at night become too much to bear.
- Cloudy or Blurry Vision: If you find yourself constantly needing to clean your glasses in an effort to clear your vision, your cataracts could be worsening. As cataracts grow this effect can increase, making the world seem cloudy, blurry, or dim.
- Yellow or Brown Tint: As the eye’s lens grows more dull over time your cataracts can darken, causing a yellow or brown tint to develop. This darkening can make it difficult to read, thread a needle, perceive fine details, or distinguish some colors.
- Double Vision or “Ghosting”: Clouding, as a result of cataracts, can actually lead you to see two (or more) images of a single object. Typically the double vision is in only one eye, signaling a problem with the cornea or lens. As the cataract grows larger, this effect may disappear.
- Frequent Change in Glasses Prescription: If you find yourself frequently needing stronger glasses or contacts you may have cataracts, and buying a strong pair of reading glasses from the drugstore isn’t going to fix the problem. If your eyesight is changing rapidly, you may have cataracts.
At the John-Kenyon Cataract Center, your doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation to see whether you have cataracts and if so, whether or not cataract surgery is the right option for you. We’ll also determine other co-existing eye diseases diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration may be playing a part. Some insurance companies often require a specific level of visual disability before they will cover cataract surgery. To learn more about the evaluation and surgery processes, check out our cataract videos.