As we age, some of us are acutely aware of the first signs of getting older. From fine lines and wrinkles to the strands of gray in our hair, the visible signs that come with getting older show up quicker than any of us would prefer. With our eyes, not all signs of age are noticeable until the progression weakens our sight. And the same is true with cataracts.
The term cataracts is often associated with older age as most people aged 80 or older have cataracts or have had cataract removal surgery. By age 40, the proteins in the eye begin to break down eventually causing hardened deposits on the eye, known as cataracts. Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens. A clear lens is needed for light to focus properly on the retina so the images we see remain sharp and clear.
Cataracts develop very slowly and gradually impact vision over the course of months or even years. In fact, in the early stages of cataract development you may not even be aware that you have them. Once cataracts start progressing, the first sign of a cataract will be clouded, blurred or dim vision that causes the appearance of fuzzy spots in your field of vision. Other noticeable side effects include increased light sensitivity causing you discomfort and the need to squint to see better, halos or glares around bright lights, needing more or brighter light for reading and difficulty seeing at night.
Later stage cataracts will produce an opaque, white or amber-colored deposit on the lens that will partially or fully cloud vision. Eventually, surgery will be necessary to remove the cataract but in the early stages a new eyeglass prescription may provide some help in seeing while completing routine tasks. The best way to check for cataracts and catch them before the first sign of a cataract is with a comprehensive eye exam. At Eye Institute of South Jersey, P.C. our trusted and qualified ophthalmologists will check for early cataract development as well as assess the whole health of the eyes. Schedule a visit at our office to have peace of mind about the clarity of your vision. Appointment times can be selected online at Eye Institute of South Jersey, P.C. or by calling 856-205-1100.