Cataracts is the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. It usually starts off with mild symptoms such as a slight blur in your vision and with time can progress to become a major issue with your eye sight.
In treatment, cataracts are relatively easy, as they don’t pose a permanent threat to your eyesight and could be fixed with a simple surgical procedure at any point. As a matter of fact, cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures carried out in America and the success rates are very high with 90% of people undergoing the surgery regaining very good vision.
Although treatment is easy, it is important for a patient to know when the symptoms they have are related to cataracts and not another more threatening disease. The best time to have them removed is when you start noticing changes. However the problem that arises is that the symptoms can be signs of other eye diseases that unlike cataracts are more time sensitive and require early diagnosis.
The time to treat cataracts is sensitive to the individual themselves, and mainly depends on them and their vision. There are some people that have limited visual needs, and choose not to have their cataracts removed, but others who have 20-20 vision and are troubled by the amount of glare (dependent on the individual and their profession) will desire a more immediate solution.
- Loss or decline in vision
- Cloudy areas which seam to expand in your field of vision over time
- Inability to drive, read or carry out other day to day activities
- Halos appear around bright lights
- Color perception decreases
- You require more light than usual to certain tasks
Three types of cataracts
Symptoms may vary between the three types of cataract which could progress over a shorter time period of 6 months or even 20 years.
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts: The most rapidly developing of the three, it can progress significantly within a few months and affects younger individuals. Diabetics and people who have taken steroid medications are also at an increased risk. Some of the symptoms include glare, bad vision in bright light and faces become difficult to recognize.
- Nuclear sclerotic cataracts: It progresses at a slower pace and causes difficulties when viewing bright objects in the dark, a decrease in color perception and difficulties observing detail.
- Cortical cataracts: Tend to have a slow, steady progression as well and cause more trouble with glare and haziness.
For many a gradual loss of vision may be perceived as part of the natural process of aging yet cataracts can be dealt with a very safe and successful procedure which in some cases (i.e astigmatism) provides even better vision than before the symptoms appeared.