Recognizing the Early Signs of Cataracts

Do you have trouble driving at night? Are you buying stronger reading glasses at the drugstore so you can see small print clearly? Do colors that were once vibrant now look a little less brilliant?

It’s easy to brush these vision problems off as part of growing older, but they could be the early signs of cataracts – signs you don’t want to ignore. 

Here at ReVision Optix, with offices in Simpsonville and Greenville, South Carolina, our experienced optometrists, Dr. Sean Stevens and Dr. Tiffany Brawner, get to the underlying cause of your vision concerns. If you do, in fact, have the early signs of cataracts, we customize a treatment plan to help restore your best vision.

Cataracts slowly cloud your vision 

The healthy lenses in your eyes are clear, allowing you to see details and colors as they truly appear. Cataracts are a slowly developing clouding of this clear lens, so eventually, it looks like you’re viewing the world through a foggy window. 

With each birthday you celebrate, your eyes’ lenses become less flexible and start to thicken. Age, health issues like diabetes, and even your lifestyle contribute to the risk for developing cataracts. 

Over time, the tissues within your lenses break down and clump together. When this happens, the clump scatters the light as it enters your lens, so your retina is unable to clearly interpret the image. As a result, your vision becomes blurry or cloudy.

Learn to recognize the early signs of cataracts

Maybe you’re not a senior citizen yet, but if you’re in your 40s or 50s, cataracts could be in the early stages. By the time you’re in your 60s, you are feeling the effects of cataracts on your ability to see clearly. Some of the most common early signs of cataracts include:

You may not recognize these symptoms as cataracts at first, but as the cataracts grow larger, they can cause double vision and blurry vision. It’s also common to have cataracts in one eye, but not the other, so you may only notice a very slight change in vision.

Cataracts in different areas of your lens cause different symptoms

Because cataracts can form in different areas of your lenses, symptoms are different as well. 

Nuclear cataracts

For example, if a cataract develops at the center of your lens – a nuclear cataract – you may become more nearsighted. Contrarily, you may notice a temporary improvement in your ability to read small print. As the cataract grows, it can turn yellow or even brown, affecting your ability to clearly distinguish colors. 

Cortical cataracts

Cataracts that form at the edges of your lenses are called cortical cataracts. These begin as a wedge-shaped object on the outer edge of your lens. As cortical cataracts progress, they interfere with the way light passes through the center of your lens, affecting your ability to focus on objects in your direct field of vision.

Posterior subcapsular cataracts

This type of cataract forms at the back of your lens and interferes with your reading vision. Subcapsular cataracts also cause halos around bright lights, especially at night. This is one of the reasons why driving may become difficult as the cataract continues to grow. 

The best way to manage cataracts is to recognize the early signs and schedule comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis. Your optometrist at ReVision Optix examines your eyes and prescribes new glasses and contacts to improve your vision for as long as possible. As the cataracts progress, your doctor recommends when surgery is the best solution for helping you see clearly again. 

If you suspect you have cataracts, give our friendly team a call at the South Carolina location closest to you, or request an appointment online today. 

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