What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cataract?

Having an eye for the types of cataract and its various symptoms helps you to identify cataract early and save your vision.

Why identification of symptoms is important?

Symptoms could be unnoticeable in the initial stage. It could also be the cause for other eye diseases. In the initial stages cataract may affect only a small portion of the eye lens. The signs and symptoms get noticeable to a patient after the cataract has grown to some extent. With advances in technology in ophthalmology it is possible to detect and treat at a very early stage.

Let’s delve into the common types of cataract.

Age related cataract is most commonly found type of cataract caused mainly due to aging. Symptoms vary according to the location of the cataract in the eye.

The types of age-related cataract:

  • Nuclear sclerosis: Cataract forming at the center of the lens. This cataract is formed by new layers of fiber (added with aging) compressing the nucleus of the lens. Reduction of vision is a symptom noticed in this type of cataract.
  • Cortical: Cataract forming at the edges of the lens. New fibers are added to the outside of the lens which age and produce cortical spokes. These may not produce symptoms unless on the visual axis or the entire cortex is affected when mature.
  • Posterior subcapsular: Cataract forming back of the lens. Opacities in the central posterior cortex. This may occur in younger patients. Glare is a symptom noticed in this type of cataract.

Secondary cataract It formed after surgery for other eye problems e.g. glaucoma.

Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use.

Traumatic cataract Developed after an eye injury, sometimes years later.

Congenital cataractSome babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood in both eyes.

Radiation cataracta cataract caused by excessive or prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, x-rays, radium, gamma rays, heat, or radioactive isotopes.

Depending on the type and extent of the cataract, patients may experience the following symptoms.

  • Visible cloudiness in the pupil in the eye.
  • Painless gradual loss of vision.
  • Cloudy or blurred vision.
  • Double vision (diplopic) in one eye – Seeing two images instead of one image.
  • Halos – Circle of light around bright lights, automobile headlights etc.
  • Frequent prescription changes for glasses or contact lens.
  • Fading or yellowing of colour
  • Second sight – a phenomenon where one’s reading vision improves as a result of the increased nearsightedness from swelling of the cataract.
  • Unable to differentiate between certain colors e.g. Blue and purple.
  • Poor Night Vision.

A regular eye check up aids in early detection – a critical aspect in preserving your sight.

In case you experience any of these signs and symptoms, No need wait and resign yourself to increasingly poor vision.

Visit an ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination, diagnosis and treatment.

Your vision is precious. We care.

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