What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in your eye. In a normal eye, light passes through your transparent lens to your retina which transforms this light into nerve signals which are sent to your brain. As a cataract develops, the image the retina sends to your brain becomes cloudy, thus impairing your vision. Cataracts typically develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight or cause pain in early stages. However, as your clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with your vision and you will need to visit someone like the eye care specialists at Kraff Eye to understand your options.
When do cataracts occur?
Most often you will exhibit signs of cataracts as a normal part of your aging process. More than 50% of Americans over the age of 65 will have some degree of clouding in their eyes and by the time age 75 is reached, more than 70% will have cataracts that impair their vision. While age is most often the cause of cataracts, there are many other types of cataracts which can be caused by an eye injury, congenital issues at birth, medications, radiation exposure, or as a result of other health problems.
What causes cataracts?
Your eye lens consists mostly of water and protein. As you age, some of the protein in your eyes may start to bind or clump together to cloud a small area of your lens. In its initial cataract stages, you may not notice a significant change in your vision. Over time, the opaque protein will usually grow larger and make it more difficult for you to see.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Typically, cataract patients will exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Difficulty with night vision
- Colors seem faded or yellowish
- Double vision in one eye
- Frequent changes in your contact or eyeglass prescriptions
- Halos or glare from headlights, lamps or sunlight
- Need for brighter reading light
While these are not all of the symptoms, they are the more common signs of cataracts. If you are experiencing trouble with your vision, contact Kraff Eye Institute to schedule an exam at our Chicago office.