The eye has a normal clear lens that is located behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). This lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina. A cataract occurs when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. As the cataract develops and grows, less and less light reaches the retina which causes the vision to become worse. Depending on the size of the cataract, the clouding effect may have either a small or great impact on the vision.
Cataracts are usually age related and often affect people’s vision. A patient may have a cataract in each eye but the cataract may develop at different paces. A cataract often is very slow in developing and the brain has time to process the reduction in vision. Some patients may not even be aware that they suffer from a cataract. On the other hand, some patients have a noticeable cataract and cannot see well enough to perform everyday tasks.
While cataracts are typically related to aging, there are also other kinds of cataracts. Congenital cataracts are present at birth. An injury to the head or the eye may cause a traumatic cataract. Secondary cataracts may be the results of another eye disease or medications such as steroids.
What Symptoms Are Usually Associated with a Cataract?
Cataracts may be affecting your vision if you experience some or any one of the following symptoms.
- Fuzzy or Hazy Vision
- Sensitivity to Bright Lights
- Halos around Lights
- Poor Night Vision
- Decreased Color Perception
- Frequent Changes in Your Eyeglass Prescription
What Options Are Available Once a Cataract has been Determined?
If a cataract is present and affecting your vision, the only effective treatment option is cataract surgery. Surgery only becomes necessary once the cataract starts to interfere with normal daily activities. After conducting a thorough examination of your eye, your doctor will determine when surgery is best for you.