man's face focused on his eye

Top 5 Signs you have Cataracts

Age-related cataracts appear slowly in most cases. The lens of the eye gradually gets cloudier as you age. For some people, this cloudiness begins to affect vision. If left untreated, cataracts will eventually lead to blindness. Knowing the early signs of cataracts will allow you take action, and enjoy better vision, sooner.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful of all surgeries in Australia. It was once thought that cataracts needed to reach a certain stage and ‘become ripe’ before they could be operated on. This is no longer the case. Cataracts affect over 700,000 Australians and the sooner they are treated the sooner cataract sufferers can enjoy better vision.

Cataract Candidates

Anyone can get cataracts. However, there are a few risk factors that can contribute to cataracts forming:

  • Aged over 50
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight (UV rays) without wearing sunglasses
  • Suffer from diabetes
  • Smoke or have smoked for a period of time
  • Had a previous eye injury
  • Have a family history of cataracts

Top 5 Cataract Symptoms

The following symptoms may be a sign you have cataracts and that they are starting to affect you vision:

1. Blurred vision

Typically, blurred vision is the first sign of cataracts. We all have periods of blurry vision but if this is persistent it could be a sign of cataracts. The increasingly cloudy lens blocks the sharpness of light focused on the retina contributing to an equal loss in sharpness of vision.

2. Increased sensitivity to light and glare

Glare from lights and reflections may become more intense if you have cataracts. If you have a cloudy lens in your eye the light becomes more scattered once it reaches the retina at the back of the eye causing this intensity.

3. Difficulty with night vision & driving at night

In low light situations, a cataract will further block available light in allowing you to see. Driving at night will become particularly difficult as it will combine a low light environment with the glare of oncoming headlights. Halos will also appear around streetlights preventing a clear focus on the road ahead.

4. Colours looking less vibrant

If you wear glasses and your prescription changes, or changes quicker than usual, this can be a sign that cataracts are beginning to affect vision.

5. Rapid changes in your prescription

A cataract can cause a yellowish tinge to impede on the ability to see the vibrancy of colour. Colours may also look washed out. It can be difficult to detect the deterioration in colour as this normally occurs very slowly. Often glasses come to be blamed for this yellow tinge when it can in fact be cataracts.

One or more of these symptoms, particularly if you have any of the key risk factors, it is important to have your eyes checked. Even if you do not experience any of these symptoms, having a regular eye test can help diagnose cataracts and other conditions like glaucoma which often have few symptoms but more long-lasting and irreversible effects.

Envision Eye Centre is a boutique Ophthalmology practice in Sydney CBD. We specialise in cataract surgery, refractive surgery and corneal disease. Our skilled surgeons offer both traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgery with often minimum wait times. Book an appointment with us to properly diagnose and treat your cataracts so you can enjoy clear vibrant vision sooner.

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