Have you been diagnosed with cataracts? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have them removed immediately.
Cataracts often develop gradually over the years, so the symptoms may not be immediately noticeable. But as cataracts slowly become more prominent, the signs are more pronounced and can begin to interfere with your day-to-day life.
Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and how to know when it’s time to have cataract surgery.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts occur when proteins in your eyes clump together on the eye’s natural lens, making it cloudy. A cloudy lens prevents light from passing through properly, resulting in changes to your vision.
Some of the common signs of cataracts include:
- Cloudy, blurry, or foggy vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Halos and glare
- Colors appearing faded
- Double vision in one eye
- Frequent prescription changes
- Need for brighter lighting for up-close activities
Signs it’s Time to Have Your Cataracts Removed
You may need cataract surgery if you experience the following:
Routine Activities are Hard to Complete
Cataracts can impact your ability to cook, sew, do the laundry, read, and complete other regular activities since you can’t see well. Even using your phone or checking the time on the clock can become challenging when you have blurry vision from cataracts.
If you ignore cataracts for too long, the cataract can become hyper-mature. These cataracts are harder to remove and more likely to cause complications during surgery.
You should see your ophthalmologist as soon as cataracts begin getting in the way of your daily life. A good rule of thumb is to undergo cataract surgery when poor vision from cataracts affects your ability to perform routine, everyday tasks.
You’re Unable to Do the Things You Love
A common symptom of cataracts is cloudy vision. Having cataracts can also affect your ability to perceive color. You may start noticing everything has a brown or yellow tinge, or colors appear duller and faded.
Because most hobbies, from golfing, watching TV, and fishing to crafts, traveling, and sewing, require good vision, these symptoms of cataracts can make such activities less enjoyable. It’s best to remove your cataracts if they interfere with your favorite pastimes and overall quality of life.
Cataract surgery will help you see with clarity, allowing you to enjoy all the activities you used to do before you had cataracts.
Your Vision Continues to Worsen
Cataracts typically develop slowly and don’t affect your vision right away. But as time goes on, your eyesight will begin to deteriorate.
Temporary measures like using bright lights at home, prescription glasses, and magnifiers can provide better vision, at least at first. However, as your cataracts advance, these measures won’t be effective.
It’s essential to schedule frequent eye examinations to ensure early diagnosis and monitor your cataracts. Your ophthalmologist will recommend cataract surgery at the appropriate time.
Frequent Prescription Changes
It’s common to need periodic updates to your glasses or contact lens prescriptions. You may need a new prescription every year or two.
However, one sign of cataracts and needing cataract surgery is if you need frequent prescription updates. A prescription that isn’t stable due to cataracts will only continue to change as your cataracts progress.
Getting a new prescription will only work temporarily. If you have cataracts, you’ll eventually reach a point where glasses or contact lenses can no longer correct your sight.
The only way to see clearly once again is by having cataract surgery.
You’re Avoiding Social Situations
Poor vision can significantly affect your ability to be socially active. It may make it increasingly difficult to recognize the faces of friends and family.
Poor vision could also force you to rely on others for things like reading the menu or checking your phone. When you can’t see clearly, you may have no option but to give up golfing or skip out on get-togethers with family and friends.
All these challenges can leave you feeling miserable and lonely. If cataracts impede your social life, it’s time to seriously consider cataract surgery. The procedure will restore your vision, help you regain your independence, and improve your quality of life.
You Feel Unsafe Driving at Night
Cataracts make driving at night a safety hazard. Sensitivity to light, cloudy vision, halos, and glare because of cataracts can cause street lights, neon signs, and headlights from oncoming traffic to impair your vision.
You should avoid driving at night if you have these symptoms. Find a friend or family member that can drive you to the places you need to go.
Luckily, cataract surgery can help. It’s a quick and highly effective procedure that will enable you to regain your sight and independence.
You’ve Started Injuring Yourself More Often
Living with cataracts increases your risk of falling and tripping since a cataract reduces your depth perception. Cataracts also impair your ability to distinguish differences in shading or edge-contrast sensitivity when looking down to walk.
As a result, you may misjudge where you put your foot on raised surfaces or steps. Double vision, also caused by cataracts, can make it especially difficult to walk around the house.
You may find yourself bumping into things more often. This further increases your chances of tripping and falling. Falls become more dangerous as you grow older.
They can cause serious head injuries and hip fractures. By having your cataracts removed, you can significantly reduce your risks of falls and severe injuries.
Cataract Care at Evergreen Eye Center
If you have cataracts, it’s a matter of when you’ll need them removed to restore your clear vision. If you’re having trouble seeing and experiencing some of these symptoms, the experienced eye doctors at Evergreen Eye Center can help. After a thorough evaluation, our team will determine if you need cataract surgery.
Does it feel as though cataracts are reducing the quality of your life? Schedule your appointment today at Evergreen Eye Center to find out if it’s time to have them removed!