Cataracts Symptoms and How You Know When You Need Surgery

By David Gross on January 29, 2016

Close-up of the word cataract behind glassesCataracts are a common problem for many seniors. In fact, studies show that by the age of 75, almost half of all Americans will have developed a cataract. If you suffer from this condition, you may experience several common symptoms, and your vision may be seriously compromised. Fortunately, it is also easy to treat cataracts, and appropriate care can fully restore your vision. If you have a cataract, you may not require treatment immediately. Instead, the doctors at Deen Gross Eye Centers typically recommend that you wait until your symptoms start to impinge upon your quality of life. Then one of our experienced surgeons will perform a simple, minimal-recovery procedure. To learn more about common cataract symptoms, contact our Merrillville, IN practice today.

What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is a cluster of protein cells that accumulates on the natural lens inside your eye. As you age, protein cells may break away from their normal structure. They will then drift, clumping together on your lens and blocking the path of light to your retina. Age is by far the biggest risk factor associated with cataracts. However, you may also have greater chances for developing the condition if you smoke, have diabetes, are overweight, are frequently exposed to sunlight, or have a family history of cataracts.

Common Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts have several common side effects. Likely symptoms can include:

  • Loss of visual acuity that you cannot correct with glasses
  • Blurred vision
  • Dimness or decreased color sensitivity
  • Halos
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Frequent changes in glasses prescriptions

If you have a nuclear cataract, located in the central portion of your lens, you may develop “second sight.” In this case, your vision will suddenly improve, becoming noticeably sharper. Nevertheless, as the cataract grows larger, you will eventually suffer from the other symptoms of cataracts listed above.

Your Symptoms Will Determine When Surgery Is Appropriate

Cataracts will only affect your lens, and they will not damage the rest of your eye. Therefore, there is no rush to undergo cataract surgery. You can wait until your symptoms interfere with your ability to go about your daily tasks. Of course, if you do a lot of detailed, close-up work, you may benefit from having surgery sooner rather than later. Earlier surgery may also be a safer option if you frequently drive at night.

During cataract surgery, your doctor will create a tiny incision in your eye. Using ultrasound waves, he or she will break apart the clouded lens before carefully removing it. Then your doctor will replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL will perform the same functions as your natural lens, focusing light so that it lands in the central part of your retina. At Deen Gross Eye Centers, we offer several types of IOLs, including monofocal, multifocal, and toric lenses. Your doctor will choose the most appropriate type for your eyesight, lifestyle, and budget.

Suffering from the Symptoms of Cataract Surgery? Contact Us Today

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a cataract, contact Deen Gross Eye Centers. We will provide an accurate diagnosis and advise you about the most suitable time to undergo cataract surgery.

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