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Don’t let cataracts cloud your vision

Post on 7th June 2023

Experiencing cloudy vision? Giving your specs a good clean might not be enough – it could be that your clouded vision is in fact due to cataracts.

At Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care, we have over 80 years of experience helping people care for their eye health, including conditions such as cataracts. Cataracts are the main cause of impaired vision and are more likely to develop as we get older. An estimated one in three people over the age of 65 have this common condition.

Cataracts occur when cloudy patches develop in the clear lens inside your eye, stopping light from reaching the back of the eye, and causing blurred or misty vision. They usually appear in both eyes and can be diagnosed in a routine eye test, which is normally recommended every two years.

The symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the severity and progression of the condition.

Here are some common symptoms associated with cataracts:

Blurry or cloudy vision: The most noticeable symptom of cataracts is a gradual or sudden decline in vision. The vision may become hazy, blurry, or cloudy, making it difficult to see fine details or read small print.

Light sensitivity

Increased sensitivity to light: People with cataracts may become more sensitive to bright lights or glare. Sunlight, headlights, or other light sources may appear too bright or glaring, causing discomfort.

Night driving

Difficulty seeing at night: Cataracts can cause problems with night vision. Vision may worsen in low-light conditions, making it challenging to drive at night or see clearly in dimly lit environments.

Colours appear faded or yellowed: Cataracts can affect colour perception, causing colours to appear dull, faded, or yellowed. This can make it challenging to distinguish between certain shades or hues.

Faded colours

Poor contrast and depth perception: Cataracts can reduce contrast sensitivity, making it difficult to perceive differences between similar shades or objects. Depth perception may also be affected, making it harder to judge distances accurately.

Poor contrast

Frequent prescription changes for glasses or contact lenses: As cataracts progress, the refractive error of the eye can change, leading to frequent changes in the prescription for glasses or contact lenses. However, your new prescription may not provide significant improvement in vision.

Cataracts are not usually painful and do not make your eyes red or irritated.

Some people are more likely to suffer from cataracts if they have a family history of cataracts. Other risk factors include smoking, diabetes, an eye injury, long-term use of steroids and drinking too much alcohol.

If your optician thinks you have cataracts, you may be referred to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) for more tests and treatment.

Cataracts can be treated by a routine operation which is carried out as an outpatient procedure to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a synthetic one.

However, it’s also important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with other eye conditions, so it’s crucial to consult your optician for an accurate diagnosis if you experience any vision changes or problems.

If you have any concerns about cataracts or about your eye health, you will find help and advice at your local Scrivens branch.

If you found this blog useful, you may also be interested in learning about eye floaters – what are they and what should you do if you have them?

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