Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear. If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.
Symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, seeing double, extra sensitivity to light, trouble seeing well at night, needing more light when you read, and seeing bright colors as faded or yellow.
Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. This is due to normal eye changes that happen after around age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down causing the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.
Other reasons you may get cataracts include:
- having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts
- having certain medical problems, such as diabetes
- having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body
- having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
- using certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause early formation of cataracts.
Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Other cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors cannot predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.
Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to slow down the development of cataracts. Wear sunglasses that screen out the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light rays. You may also wear regular eyeglasses that have a clear, anti-UV coating.
During a complete eye examination, Dr. Victor will check for the presence of cataracts and monitor their progression, until which time he feels that they have progressed to a point where they should be removed. If you are concerned that you might have cataracts, please call our office at 623-977-9000 to schedule your complete eye examination.