A cataract is a growth inside the eye that causes opacity or cloudiness of the crystalline lens of the eye. When the lens of your eye begins to cloud, it impairs your vision, making it appear as though you are looking through a fogged window. This type of clouded vision develops slowly over time. At first, the cataract will only affect a small part of your eye lens, but eventually, it will grow larger. As it progresses, it clouds and distorts more of the lens interfering with vision more and more as time goes on.
At first, the clouded vision may affect only a small aspect of your sight, and you might not recognize any symptoms at all. As the cataract grows larger, more of the eye’s lens is distorted, and vision impairments occur such as clouding and blurred vision. Other than the impaired vision caused by cataracts, signs and symptoms of cataracts can include:
Sensitivity to light and glare
Seeing "halos" around lights
Fading of colors
Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
Increasing difficulty with vision at night
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
When a cataract progresses and starts to compromise the vision of a patient, surgery may become necessary. Cataract evaluations can determine whether the symptoms a patient is experiencing are due to cataracts or some other visual concern. During the exam, the eyes will be dilated so that the doctor can see the internal structures of the eye and evaluate the symptoms. The results of the evaluation will be reviewed, and treatment options and possible surgery will be discussed. If cataract surgery is indicated, it will be scheduled for a later date. Whichever treatment is recommended, the details of any and all procedures necessary will be discussed with each patient to ensure that they are capable of making the most informed decision.
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