A cataract causes clouding of your eye’s lens which decreases your ability to see, either on a slight or significant level. Cataracts develop slowly, so symptoms may be similar to general myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) and may not raise alarm bells at first. Cataracts can affect both eyes, or just one and there are a number of risk factors which may increase your likelihood of developing cataracts.
When caught early, cataracts can be remedied by your optometrist. Here are some common symptoms:
Have you noticed yourself squinting to read the morning paper, or struggling to read a book in the evening, even with your glasses or contacts? First, check with your optometrist to determine that you haven’t had a change in prescription, but it could be an early symptom of cataracts.
Changes to distance vision
Difficulty reading street signs or seeing objects far away may be a sign of myopia, a common condition called near-sightedness, but a sudden change could be a sign of a different problem. If you’ve recently noticed changes to your ability to see far away, it’s time to visit your optometrist.
Glare and halos around lights
Do you notice a glare or halo around street lights, or have difficulty reading the illuminated letters or numbers on digital clocks and the TV guide? This could be a sign of cataracts. Visit your optometrist right away if you are experiencing halos or glare in your field of vision on an ongoing basis.
Difficulty seeing at night or in dimly lit areas
Cataracts strongly limit your ability to see well at night, or in dimly lit rooms. If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in your ability to see at night, it may be time to visit your optometrist.
Difficulty performing usually easy tasks
Have you tripped more often than normal while walking up the stairs? Are you struggling with a leisure activity that you previously excelled at, such as golfing? This may be due to changes in your vision. If your quality of life is affected by your sight, you need to book an appointment with your optometrist.
How to prevent or reduce your chance of developing cataracts:
Don’t smoke. Quitting or avoiding smoking cigarettes will improve not only your eye health, but also the overall health of your body.
Wear polarized sunglasses. Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is extremely important.
Ensure you are eating a balanced diet. Consider a multivitamin to ensure you are providing your body with proper nutrients for good eye health.
Manage your diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be at higher risk for developing cataracts. Make sure you are visiting your optometrist on a regular basis to stay on top of any changes to your vision.
Book your appointment today.