Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cataract

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cataract

The cloudiness of cataracts on the lenses of the eyes affects the vision and quality of life of tens of millions of people. According to estimates from the National Eye Institute, 50 million people will have cataracts by the year 2050, more than double the 24.4 million reported in 2010.

Here at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, we know that cataracts are common, although you might not realize you have them until you get a diagnosis. Our optometrists and ophthalmologists are experts when it comes to diagnosing and treating cataracts.

When you realize you have a cataract in one or both eyes, it might explain why you’re having some vision issues. But even if you’re not aware of any problems your cataracts are causing, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a cataract.

1. Cataracts make driving at night difficult

Cataracts can develop slowly, so you might not notice some of the changes that occur a they develop. However, one of the first cataract symptoms that people often realize is increased difficulty when driving at night. 

Cataracts can cause light (such as the light from road lamps to streetlights to other headlights) to become distorted. Drivers with cataracts report halos around lights. Impaired night vision is frustrating, but it can also be dangerous. 

2. Cataracts can cause double vision

Cataracts don’t just cause problems at night — they can impact your daytime vision too. There are many causes of double vision, and cataracts are known for causing diplopia (double vision).

In these cases, cataracts cause double vision in one eye. 

Note that double vision in both eyes is often caused by other conditions such as strabismus, convergence insufficiency, or diabetes. 

3. Cataracts cause blurry vision at any distance

Near or far, cataracts cause blurry vision, and it’s a blurriness that glasses aren’t able to fully correct as the cataracts worsen. Individuals who have cataracts might compare this type of blurriness with trying to look through a piece of wax paper. Left untreated, blurry vision can cause many problems, including:

In addition to blurry vision, you might notice that colors seem faded or dull.

4. Cataracts cause light sensitivity

Left untreated, your cataracts might cause you painful light sensitivity. You might have difficulty seeing in the bright sunlight, but light sensitivity also includes indoor bright lights.  

5. Cataracts can affect your mental wellness

Not only can untreated cataracts affect your physical eyesight and compromise your safety, but they can also impact your mental wellness. 

Research shows that people are 27% more likely to reach out for mental health assistance following a cataract diagnosis. This is because these changes can cause frustration, anxiety, and worry — especially knowing that cataracts are the leading cause of reversible blindness. 

Treating cataracts: Know your options

Cataracts develop when fragments of the eye’s lens break down, and then clump together, blocking your vision. Because your cloudy lens needs to be replaced, surgery is the only option, but it’s one that can restore your vision and enable you to live life on your terms once again.

During surgery, the cloudy lens is surgically removed with bladeless, laser-assisted technology and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). There are many types of IOL, including monofocal, multifocal, accommodative, and toric. 

Depending on your eye exam and other eye conditions you have (such as astigmatism), we suggest the appropriate IOL for you. 

Don’t ignore cataracts: We can help restore your vision! To make an appointment, call our Arlington or Mansfield, Texas, office today.

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