Cataract Symptoms and Treatments
Accidents, depression, loss of independence
Cataracts affect most seniors. Over 50% of those between 75 and 85 have already lost some vision due to a cataract.
- Older adults, already a risk group for bone fractures, increase their likelihood of falls.
- Seniors with cataracts have more car crashes.
- Decreased independence and greater social isolation increase depression incidence.
If you or your elderly parent is at risk, you CAN make a difference. Read on.
Early cataract symptoms
How do you know whether you have a cataract? The first signs of having a cataract are often:
- Cloudy vision. It may start with a few blurry spots in your field of vision that don’t go away. Over time, the blurriness spreads. It’s like looking through dirty or foggy glasses.
- Sensitivity to light and glare. When you’re outside in the sun or your eye catches a bright lamp, it may cause you to squint, to want to close your eyes, or to suffer a headache.
- Night vision degrades because everything appears to be less bright. For this reason, during the evening or in a dimly lit room, you’re more likely to bump into things, trip or fall down.
- Halos around lights, caused by diffraction of light in the cataract. Car headlights and street lamps will appear to have circles around them. This is distracting and makes driving dangerous.
See your doctor or eye specialist for a test and explain what you’re experiencing. Don’t worry, an eye test is painless.
Cataracts tend to get worse over time slowly. Unfortunately, this causes many to not notice the changes, or to disregard the symptoms and delay an examination.
Advanced cataract symptoms
As the cataract progresses, you may also experience these signs and symptoms:
- Yellowing or fading of colours. Like looking through a yellow lens, the cataract shifts all colours towards yellow. The brain tries to correct, and all colours appear to be muted.
- Distortion and double vision. Shapes of objects may appear distorted. You may experience double vision if your two eyes cannot merge the left and right fields into a single image.
- Prescription changes. The need to obtain a new prescription and replace glasses or contact lenses will occur more often.
- Vision loss. Eventually, everything becomes so cloudy that it is impossible to distinguish between objects.