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A cataract is clouding that forms on the lens of the eye, causing foggy or hazy vision and sensitivity to glare. Usually cataracts form with age, but they can also be caused by trauma, disease, family history and secondary medical conditions, such as diabetes. Sometimes a medication like steroids can cause a cataract, as can radiation treatments and long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight. Sometimes a previous eye surgery can lead to a cataract.
It’s important to know cataracts cannot spread from one eye to the other and they are not the cause of irreversible blindness. In fact, in most cases once your cataract is removed – and especially if an intraocular lens is implanted in its place – your vision will improve.
The majority of cataracts are discovered during routine eye examinations. If it is determined you have a cataract, you will meet with a surgeon who will further examine your eyes. Sometimes, the cataract may be causing problems even if you are not aware of its presence. It’s also possible that the cataract may not warrant medical treatment. The final decision on whether or not to have surgery lies ultimately with the patient, their family and their surgeon. You can be sure your Edina Eye surgeon will help you understand your individual condition so you can make your decision with confidence.
Symptoms of Cataracts
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Most people learn they have cataracts during a routine eye exam with their eye doctor. This usually prompts a visit to an ophthalmologist, who will perform a series of tests and measurements and investigate the patient’s medical history. Certain health conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration can complicate cataract surgery.
Recognize the Symptoms
Although cataracts can come on suddenly, typically from an accident or other trauma, they most often develop slowly, which makes them difficult to detect because there are no abrupt changes in vision. Regular visits to the eye doctor are important for catching early signs before the changes become problematic. You can also watch out for several cataract symptoms, such as these:
- Cloudy Vision
- Halos Around Lights
- Light Sensitivity
- Difficulty Seeing at Night
- Double Vision in One Eye
- Poor Night Vision
- Seeing Faded Colors
- Frequent Changes in Glasses or Contact Lens Prescriptions