Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, affecting a person’s vision and causing blurriness. This is a very common eye condition that is often associated with older adults. In fact, more than half of all Americans over the age of 80 either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. More than 22 million Americans over the age of 40 are dealing with cataracts, and that number is projected to reach 30 million by 2020. Staying on top of your eye health and telling your eye doctor about any changes to your vision is critical to the health of your eye, especially for older Americans. The best way to catch cataracts in its early stages is to understand the symptoms associated with the eye disease. For one, if you notice your vision has become increasingly hazy, dim, or blurry and you aren’t experiencing any eye pain, you may have cataracts. The lens is a very hard-working part of the eye, helping you to focus on people, things, landscapes, and anything else out in the world. Over time, the lens can harden or stiffen, making it much more difficult to focus.

While many people think of old age when they hear the term “cataracts,” it can also occur as the result of other common eye diseases. Less common causes of cataracts include heredity, birth defects, chronic diseases like diabetes, excessive use of steroids, and injury to the eye. The best way to catch cataracts in its early stages is to have a regular eye exam at least once a year. At First Eye Care McKinney, we strive to offer a wide range of services that will help our doctors monitor the health of your eye, making note of any areas of concern or early signs of disease, such as cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

In its early stages, the symptoms of cataracts may be undetectable. With time, these symptoms will worsen and may become cause for concern. If you notice any of the below, be sure and make an appointment with your First Eye Care McKinney doctor immediately. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Frequent prescription changes for contacts or glasses
  • Poor night vision
  • Changes in color vision
  • Dimming
  • Double vision in one or both eyes

Common risk factors linked to cataracts include:

  • Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Long-term use of corticosteroid medications
  • Statin medications used to reduce cholesterol
  • Previous eye injury
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Genetics
  • High myopia

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent cataracts from forming. There are a handful of things you can do in order to slow the disease. Protecting your eyes from direct sunlight, monitoring blood pressure, quitting smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol intake are all ways to protect your eyes from cataracts. To learn more about cataracts and how we can help you prevent the disease, please contact First Eye Care McKinney and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.