Could you recognise the early symptoms of Cataract?
What is Cataract?
Cataracts are an eye condition that affects many older Australians; they occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, preventing light from focusing on the back of the eye.
Cataracts can develop for a number of different reasons but most commonly occur as part of the natural aging process. They often develop gradually over a number of years, and if left un-treated can result in significant loss of vision. Fortunately, in Australia cataracts can be treated quickly and safely with the help of a qualified ophthalmologist.
What are the early symptoms of Cataract?
- Blurred vision
If you begin to notice objects appear blurrier than usual, this may be an early sign of cataract. It can sometimes feel as if you are seeing the world through a frosted pane of glass.
- Objects no longer appear in sharp focus
Another symptom of cataract is that objects may no longer appear as ‘sharp’ as they used to. This is because the lens, which usually helps focus light on the back of the eye, becomes opaque.
- Poor Night Vision
If you’ve noticed that your night vision has recently worsened, this can be another early sign of cataract formation. You may feel less confident about driving at night or you may need additional light when reading at night.
- Faded colours
Does your favourite painting appear less vivid than you remember it? This can be another early symptom of cataract and a good signal to speak with you regular eye health professional about having your eyes examined.
- Intolerance to glare
Cataracts can often make normal light seem too bright or harsh, this can be a major problem when driving, especially at night.
- ‘Halos’ around lights
Another symptom of cataract that can affect your ability to drive comfortably at nigh is the appearance of ‘halos’ around street lights and headlights. Once again this is caused by the eyes natural lens becoming clouded. If you notice you are finding it harder to drive at night it may be worth discussing the issue with your doctor or ophthalmologist.
What can be done to treat Cataract?
The first and most important step to treating cataract is to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist. They will asses the severity of your cataract and determine if surgery is necessary now or in the future.
If it is decided that your cataract needs to be treated, you will undergo a short, painless procedure (usually under topical anaesthetic) in which the old, clouded lens is replaced with a new artificial lens called an IOL. In some cases, having this new lens inserted may mean you will not need glasses for reading or distance vision.
If you think you or someone you know, may be experiencing the early symptoms of cataract, call the Northern Eye Centre on (03) 9459 5133 to speak with us about arranging an appointment.