As we become older, the lenses inside our eyes get yellow, harden, and become cloudy. This opaque change of the lens is a cataract which prevents light from penetrating the lens. Cataracts can develop in both eyes symmetrically or more noticeable in one eye, but you cannot have multiple cataracts per eye, they cannot “jump” from one eye to the other, and they are not contagious. How can you know whether you need to consult an eye doctor? Signs that point to early detection include difficulty seeing at night, appearance of halos and glare, cloudy vision, and increased light sensitivity.
Difficulty Seeing at Night
People with the early stages of cataracts say they have worsening of the nighttime vision. Cataracts can cause vision to dim or darken, making good vision more difficult. People that have early stage cataracts may not notice these vision changes during the day because daylight can compensate for worsening of the vision. However, the worsened vision may be noticeable at night. Cataracts distort light that enters your eyes and as a result you may see halos around lights. When you have difficulty seeing at night, it is time for an eye exam.
Appearance of Halos and Glare
You are driving and you notice the oncoming cars’ headlights are not two distinct points. Instead, they have multiple rings or shadows around them. It could be a sign of the beginning of cataracts, and you would benefit from the eye exam to make sure your vision is still good for driving.
Another sign of cataracts is foggy or filmy vision. As the cataract gets worse, less and less light gets through the lens of the eye to the retina. This is related to halos and glare. If you notice that your vision becomes more and more hazy, you should consider removing the cataracts.
Increased Light Sensitivity
Usually, when one is young, sensitivity to light only appears when looking at the sun. However, when one becomes uncomfortable with the ordinary headlights and/or home lights, it can be a sign of cataracts. The increased need for darker sunglasses can also be another sign of cataracts. Since nearly 1/3 of blindness is because of untreated cataracts, it makes sense to stay on top of your eye health. Maybe you just need to update your glasses, but maybe you do have cataracts. A visit with Campus Eye Group can help to put your mind at ease when you are concerned about your eye health.