A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes clouded by protein deposits. The clouding causes a decline in clear vision.
There are three types of cataracts. They include subcapsular cataracts, nuclear cataracts, and cortical cataracts. Subcapsular cataracts develop at the back of the lens. Nuclear cataracts appear in the center or nucleus of the lens. A cortical cataract begins around the edges of the lens and encroaches upon the center of the eye.
Cataracts affect over 20 million Americans who are age 40 or older. In fact, 50 percent of Americans who are 80 years old and older have cataracts.
Cataracts can develop due to many reasons, such as too much exposure to ultraviolet light, obesity, eye injury, high blood pressure or even over-consumption of alcohol. Here are a few signs that you may be developing cataracts:
Your night vision is growing worse.
As cataracts progress, they can darken in color. This darkening can make it even more difficult to see at night. Imagine wearing dark sunglasses at night.
Driving is not as easy as it used to be.
A person who drives while suffering from cataracts can find it difficult to see well enough to drive safely. The vision becomes clouded much like looking through fog. A study performed in Australia indicated that cataract surgery reduced the risk of an automotive wreck by nearly 13%.
Some collisions that involve a driver suffering from cataracts may be due to halos. Halos are the rings that are sometimes seen around light. These can appear more prominent for cataract sufferers. As a result, driving, especially at night, can become increasingly difficult. Halos may be seen around lit building signs, street lamps, and headlights.
Your eyes may be more sensitive to bright light.
One of the symptoms of having cataracts is photosensitivity. Bright lights can cause great discomfort to a cataract sufferer.
You find it difficult to distinguish between certain colors.
A cataract can have a yellowish or brown tint. This can cause the lens of the eye to perceive things as though a yellow screen is before the person's eyes. As a result, the yellow hue can distort the way that a person with cataracts sees color. The ability to see colors correctly is restored after successful surgery.
If you believe that you may be developing cataracts, visit an eye doctor (such as Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center) in your area. He or she can check your eyes and advise a suitable course of treatment.