All You Need to Know About Hidden Symptoms of Cataract!
Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 80 have had cataracts. In fact, age-related cataracts can start to develop as early as your 40s or 50s. The following information will help you understand how cataracts develop, your risk of developing cataracts, and how you can protect your eye health.
What Are Cataracts?
A person develops a cataract when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. Age-related cataracts develop when proteins in the lens begin to clump together. In the beginning, a cataract may not be noticeable. As the cataract grows, less light reaches the retina at the back of the eye, and the lens becomes unable to adjust focus making it difficult to see.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Cataracts?
The following risk factors increase your chances of developing cataracts.
• Individuals over age 60 have a greater likelihood of developing cataracts.
• Certain diseases, such as diabetes, increase your risk of cataracts.
• Medications such as corticosteroids can contribute to cataract formation.
• Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases your chances of developing cataracts.
• Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are linked to an increased risk of cataracts.
• A diet lacking in nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and other antioxidants may increase the likelihood of developing cataracts.
What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
In the early stages, cataracts may have few if any symptoms. As cataracts grow, a person may experience the following symptoms:
• Vision becomes blurry or cloudy
• It may become difficult to see at night
• Bright lights may glare and appear to be surrounded by a halo
• Colors appear faded
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed And Treated?
Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. The exam usually involves visual acuity screening, dilation of the pupil, so the retina and optic nerve can be examined, and measuring the pressure inside the eye.
The treatment of a cataract depends on the severity and how it impacts your daily activities. Initially, your eye care professional may upgrade the prescription of your eyeglasses. If the cataract begins to affect your quality of life, your optometrist may refer you for surgery. Cataract surgery involves replacing the damaged lens with a new artificial lens. The surgery is safe and highly effective, with 90 percent of patients reporting better vision.
There is no guaranteed way to treat or prevent cataracts. Your first line of defense is to focus on getting proper nutrition. Nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin E promote eye health and may prevent the development of cataracts and other eye-related diseases. You should protect your eyes from damage by wearing sunglasses. Finally, you should make sure you get regular eye exams and consult your doctor immediately if you notice changes in your vision.
Be sure to leave us a comment to share how cataracts or cataract surgery have impacted your life or the life of someone you know.