As we grow older, our bodies become more susceptible to all kinds of diseases and conditions. From visible signs of aging to aching bones and joints, growing old comes with the whole package. One of these conditions that is known to affect aging people is cataract.
What is a cataract?
This is a condition that affects the natural lens of your eye. Your lens sits behind the iris and pupil of your eye. Cataracts are known to commonly affect people over 40 years of age and can cause severe loss of vision among these people. It is also the primary cause of severe-to-complete blindness globally. The number of people affected by cataracts are much higher than people with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration combined. Almost 30 million people over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts in the US alone.
There are three types of cataracts:
- Cortical cataract: In this condition, you see opacities that are white and wedge-like that begin at the lens’ periphery and extend toward the center. This condition affects the lens cortex.
- Nuclear cataract: This condition affects the central zone or nucleus of your lens. This is mostly seen in aging individuals.
- Subcapsular cataract: This conditions affects the back of your lens. It is commonly seen in diabetic patients or people who are under heavy steroid medication.
Signs and symptoms of cataract
The best way to combat a medical condition is to prevent it, and the only way you can prevent it is by identifying the early signs. With cataracts, the condition slowly starts affecting your eyesight by causing blurry vision. There are several signs and symptoms of cataracts that you can train yourself to identify before it is too late:
- Dim, clouded, or blurry vision
- An increased need for bright light for activities such as reading
- An increased difficult in seeing things at night or low-light conditions
- Frequently changing contact lenses or eyeglass prescriptions
- Noticing “halos” around lights
- Noticing fading of colors or a yellowing of colors
- Double vision in one eye
In the beginning, the cataract may cause only some cloudiness that may make it difficult for you to notice any changes to your vision. As the condition gets worse, your lens will become more clouded, making your symptoms more noticeable. If you notice any of these symptoms, arrange to with your doctor to discuss the appropriate timing for surgery. Laser cataract surgery may be an option for many patients.