How Do You Diagnose Cataracts?  

old man struggling to read off of his phone

Are you experiencing blurry vision, glare, or double vision? Have you noticed increased difficulty when you are doing certain activities at near, like reading?

If you are over the age of forty and experiencing these symptoms, you may have cataracts. The best way to know if cataracts are causing your symptoms is by scheduling an appointment to visit your eye doctor.

Only an eye doctor can diagnose cataracts after a careful examination and consultation. Keep reading to learn more about how cataracts are diagnosed!

What Are Cataracts?  

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects the natural lens in your eye. As you age, the natural lens begins to harden and cloud, making it difficult for you to see clearly. 

Although they often progress slowly, cataracts can diminish your sight and significantly impact your quality of life once they become advanced.

The best treatment to restore vision affected by cataracts is cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is a very common procedure. During cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon removes your eye’s cloudy natural lens and inserts an artificial lens in its place. 

Do Cataracts Have Signs or Symptoms?  

Cataracts can cause different symptoms to present in different people. The most common first sign of cataracts is blurry vision, especially when doing near tasks, like reading.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of cataracts:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Seeing glares or halos around bright lights
  • Noticing that colors seem faded or yellowish
  • Having trouble seeing at night, especially while driving
  • Needing a bright light to read
  • Having double vision

Since cataracts develop slowly, you may not notice any vision changes at first. During your routine eye exams, your eye doctor will be able to examine your cataracts and tell you how advanced they are.

If you’ve noticed a few of these symptoms, you may have cataracts. Once these symptoms worsen to the point where they interfere with your day-to-day life, your eye doctor will likely recommend cataract surgery.

Who’s at Risk For Getting Cataracts?  

Cataracts usually begin to form at age forty. By the time most people reach eighty, they will have developed advanced cataracts in both eyes.

Diet, lifestyle, medications, or certain hereditary conditions can cause a cataract to form earlier. You may also be more at risk for developing cataracts early if you have uncontrolled diabetes, are a heavy smoker, or have high blood pressure. 

It is vital to get regular eye exams and notify your doctor of any diet changes, new prescriptions, and family history. Your eye doctor will be able to monitor the progression of your cataracts to maintain your vision.

How Are Cataracts Treated?  

The most effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery. Once your doctor determines it is time to have your cataracts removed, the next step will be to discuss lens options.

There are many lens options to consider. The best way to determine which lens is best for you is to discuss your vision goals with your eye doctor.

Standard lenses are usually your cheapest option, as most insurance carriers cover them. Premium lenses often require an out-of-pocket cost but will provide you with more visual freedom.

Many people choose premium lenses to reduce their dependence on glasses after surgery. When selecting a lens, it is essential to consider your vision goals and lifestyle. 

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. The procedure is relatively quick, and recovery time is minimal.

Are you concerned that your vision changes may be due to cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington, VT, today!

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