Cataracts is one of the most common vision-impairing issues Americans face. Thankfully, they are relatively easy to treat if you make the effort.
Most Americans who have cataracts have had surgery to remove them by age 80. They are an age-related condition affecting vision quality, and even though they might not be noticed until advanced age, they often begin forming at 40 or 50.
A cataract is a clump of protein that accumulates on the eye’s lens. It makes things cloudy or tinted, ultimately causing vision impairment. It can occur in one or both of your eyes, and the cause of the condition is unknown.
In its earliest stages, if it is even noticeable, you may notice an increase in nearsightedness. As it progresses, you may have trouble with night vision or seeing the full vibrance of color.
The main symptom is blurriness, which can occur in a couple of different ways.
One is glare. Because the protein is sitting on the lens, it scatters light that hits the eye and makes it tough to see clearly. A common complaint is night driving, where headlights and streetlights lead to high levels of glare.
On the other side, a cataract can make it difficult to see in low light. Reading or seeing small images may become increasingly difficult.
These early symptoms can often be treated with simple solutions like glasses, anti-glare lenses, brighter lights, or magnifying glasses.
Surgery is the only effective treatment for unmanageable cataracts. Thankfully, it is a common and safe operation, with a reported 95 percent of patients reporting better vision following the 15-minute procedure.
Stay on top of eye health and report changes in vision to an eye doctor. They may be able to help the problem before it becomes debilitating.