What are Cataracts?

Ever ask what are cataracts? A cataract is a cloudiness of the normally clear lens that sits in the front part of the eye. The lens is located inside of the eye, behind the iris, the colored part of the eye, but in front of the vitreous cavity. The lens focuses light rays on the retina in the back of the eye to produce a crisp image of what we see.

As the cataract increases in density and cloudiness, vision is often impaired. Clouded vision, the primary symptom, may make it more difficult to read, drive a car or perform daily activities.  Cataracts develop slowly over time and are a natural result of aging. 

Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataract symptoms include blurry or dim vision, poor night vision, halos around lights, sensitivity to light and glare, need for brighter light for reading and other activities, and a frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions. These symptoms can progressively get worse as a cataract matures. Other cataract symptoms can include:

  • Cloudy or dim vision
  • Glare and halos
  • Fading of colors
  • Double vision
  • Discrepancies in vision from one eye to the other
  • Yellowing or hazy vision

Symptoms may not be obvious at first, but will progress over time as the cataract grows cloudier and admits less light.

When a Cataract Needs Surgery

Your ophthalmologist will observe the cataract as it develops and document your vision changes. It may take years for a cataract to grow enough to be surgically appropriate. It is important to visit the ophthalmologist regularly to track the development of your cataract because each one is different. There may be ways to reduce your symptoms while the cataract is still developing.

When your cataract begins to interfere with daily activities, it is time for surgery. There is no reason to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced by a cataract when cataract surgery is so easy to tolerate.

Who Develops Cataracts?

While the development of cataracts is a normal, age related changed to the lens due to the break-down of proteins, the rate at which cataracts develop can be hastened by trauma, diabetes, certain medications and genetics. Some inherited eye conditions make you more likely to develop cataracts. Eye surgery for other conditions may also speed up the development of cataracts.

Eye Consultants of Silicon Valley can diagnose your cataracts, track their development and remove them when it is time. Use our online form to schedule a consultation or give us a call today at 408-295-3433.