Cataract Symptoms and Signs
A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting. Hazy or blurred vision may mean you have a cataract.
A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. You may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did. There are several different types of cataracts.
What Causes Cataracts?
Many studies suggest that exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development, so eye care practitioners recommend wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce your exposure. Most of this damaging exposure occurs before the age of 18. Other studies suggest people with diabetes are at risk for developing a cataract. The same goes for users of steroids and diuretics. Other risk factors include cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy alcohol consumption.
How are cataracts treated?
Once a cataract is affecting your vision, your eye doctor will refer you to an ophthalmologist to perform cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens from your eye and replace it with a clear, synthetic implant lens. Many people with mild cataracts are monitored yearly by their optometrist until they reach a point where the cataract affects their quality of life.