Not Seeing Well? You May Have Cataracts

If your vision has changed, you need to see a doctor to make sure you do not have cataracts. There are symptoms listed below to help you notice if you do have this problem, as well as how the doctor tests for cataracts and the treatments available.  

Cataract Symptoms

In the beginning stages, you will likely not have any symptoms at all. Over time, as the cataracts grow, you will start noticing vision changes. For example, your vision may become blurry, or things may look cloudy. Colors may appear to be faded and you may not be able to see well when driving at night. Headlights or sunlight may appear to be much brighter than they really are. 

As the cataracts grow, you will start to see a halo ring around lights and you may have double vision. If you do have this, however, the double vision generally goes away when the cataracts become larger. You may notice you are having to change your glass prescriptions more often. 

Test for Cataracts

If your eye doctor suspects that you have cataracts there are tests they can do to be sure. One common way to do this is to dilate your eyes. To do this, the doctor places drops into both eyes. It may burn for a few seconds. Your pupils will become much larger, allowing the eye doctor to check for eye diseases, such as cataracts. 

During this exam, your eye doctor will check for different eye problems as many of them have no symptoms at all. They can see if you have a detached or torn retina. You may have an eye tumor and not be aware of it. If so, the eye doctor will be able to see this. 

Cataracts Treatment

If you do not get cataracts treated, you will eventually go blind. The main treatment is getting cataract surgery. During the surgery, the doctor removes the clouded lenses and then replaces the lens with an artificial one. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the doctor will treat one at a time. They will wait until the first eye is completely healed before doing surgery on the other. 

Your vision may be restored back to perfect vision, which is 20/20, if you saw this way before you had cataracts. If you wore prescription glasses and were nearsighted or farsighted, you may have to wear the prescription glasses after surgery. 

This surgery is same-day outpatient surgery so you can go home after the recovery period is over. You will be asked to wear a patch for a certain amount of time after the surgery to protect the eye. Your eye doctor will tell you not to lift heavy things and will give you prescription medications to take during the first few weeks. 

Contact a local optometrist office, such as Sabates Eye Centers, to learn more.