During one of your last routine eye exams, your ophthalmologist said you had the beginning signs of cataracts. You aren't noticing any vision changes, but the changes can happen so slowly that you get accustomed to them. When should you get cataract surgery? You'll need more information from your eye doctor, but the choice is up to you. Here are some things to consider when thinking about cataract surgery.
Early Vision Changes Due to Cataracts
In the very early stages of cataracts, when they become dense enough to affect your vision, you may notice the following changes:
- Objects appear blurry - You'll have difficulty focusing on individual objects. You'll need more light to focus clearly.
- Colors appear faded - It will become harder to distinguish darker colors. For example, your purple coat may look black to you.
- Night vision fails - The ability to pick out objects in the dark is more difficult because they blend into the environment. You'll also be more sensitive to car lights so they will look much brighter and glaring. Your driving will be affected because of poor night vision.
- Halos appear around lights - At night, lights will look as if they have a glowing ring around them. The denser the cataract, the more pronounced the halos will be.
When these symptoms are mild, you'll find that different prescription glasses and increased lighting can help you see more clearly.
Advanced Cataract Symptoms
As the cataract becomes more dense, you'll develop more severe vision issues that will interrupt your normal daily activities. These changes include the following:
- a noticeable cloudy material in the lens
- inability to focus on near objects
- objects appear dark, even in bright light
- most colors are washed out
- in some cases, the pressure in the eye increases, leading to glaucoma
At this point, new glasses and more light won't make a difference.
Wait and See is Not a Bad Option
There are some fast-growing cataracts which will impact your vision in a few months. But the typical cataract can take years to build up enough material in your lens to cause a problem. Talk with your eye doctor about how long you can expect to have before noticing any vision problems.
When Your Vision Loss Affects Your Quality of Life
If you are noticing changes in your vision, is it interfering with your enjoyment of life? Is it making you unsafe on the road or in your job? When the cataracts affect your quality of life, it's time have the surgery. Your cloudy lens will be replaced with an artificial lens, which will never develop cataracts. Your vision will improve, objects will be in focus, and you'll only need normal lighting to see clearly.
For more information about this condition, contact an establishment like Naples Optical Center Inc.