Cataracts tend to develop as you get older, and it happens gradually. Due to this gradual onset, it can often be difficult for people to realise that they have a problem, although for others there can be a definite and definable change in their eyesight.
However it goes for you, knowing more about the symptoms of cataracts – and what to do if you think you might have them – can help you to get an early diagnosis and treatment. This could have profound effects on your future well-being.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a painless clouding of the natural lens in the eye. The lens is a clear structure inside the eye that helps to focus light onto the retina (which is a film at the back of the eye). So when a cataract forms, vision is impaired.
The most common cataract symptoms
Everyone is different and most people won’t develop all of the possible symptoms of cataracts. However, there are several symptoms that you should be looking out for, which include:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
If you begin to notice that it’s getting harder to read the paper or see signs in the distance, then it may be a sign of cataracts.
- Regular prescription changes
If you wear glasses or contact lenses then your prescription will usually change over time, as your eyes age just like the rest of your body. But if you’re having to change prescription on a regular basis, this could be a sign of cataracts developing.
- Seeing double
If you’re seeing double or multiple images from one eye, then this could be another sign your lens is clouding.
- Poor night vision
If you find it difficult to see when the light starts to fade, it could be an indication of cataracts.
- Bright lights causing a problem
If headlights from oncoming cars or glare from other lights at night are causing you difficulties, this could be another sign of cataracts. Similarly, you may also find yourself more light sensitive during the day.
What to do if you have any of the above symptoms
Even if you’ve experienced some of the symptoms listed above, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cataracts. If you’re in any doubt, however, it’s worth taking the time to get it checked out. Book an appointment with a world-class ophthalmic surgeon here at Optegra and they can assess your eyes for cataracts or any other problems.
If it is cataracts, they will develop an individual treatment plan for your specific needs. We only offer the very best treatment methods and facilities, and you’ll be working with the same surgeon right the way through the process.
If you find that you need to have cataract surgery, your surgeon will talk you through everything that is involved. The surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, with the cloudy natural lens being replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) that will last a lifetime.
There is also the option to have refractive cataract surgery, which can correct visual errors such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism at the same time as replacing your lens. This could reduce your dependence on glasses or eliminate the need for them altogether – ask your surgeon for more details.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgical procedures in the world, with millions of treatments carried out each year. At Optegra, we are the UK’s most trusted eye care specialist according to the reviews of our patients, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.
Book your free consultation or come down to one of our open evenings to find out more.