Cataracts are caused by excess proteins inside the lens of your eye combining together to cloud the lens. Cataracts are more likely to affect you as you age, but certain things can increase your risk factors, like:
Prolonged sun exposure without UV-rated eye protection
Certain medications and prescriptions
High blood sugar
Using steroids or steroidal medications
Over 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts in one or both eyes and by 2031, that number is predicted to double to 5. million. In Canada, more than 350,000 cataract surgeries are performed yearly. Cataracts are the second leading cause of blindness in Canada.
So, how do you spot the signs and symptoms early?
Cataracts start small and you might not even notice them at first. Your vision may seeme slightly blurry, cloudy, or even dim. This will slowly increase over time. Seeing and especially driving at night can become particularly difficult, and you may notice that a yellow or brown-tinged section of your eye. Bright lights will begin to appear more aggressive and even painful. Rings around light sources may begin to form as the cataract causes the light to diffract as it hits your eye. As the cataract progresses, the proteins may actually cause your field of vision to have a yellow-ish tinge.
If you have any of the symptoms above, you may be developing cataracts. Even though this condition typically affects older adults, it can appear at any age, including in very young children. It’s important to see your Beyond Vision optometrist for any noticeable changes to your vision or the appearance of your eyes. It’s also important to note that not all vision changes necessarily mean you have cataracts. Your Beyond Vision optometrist can assist with any and all eye concerns and give you peace of mind.