Cataract Causes and Symptoms

The most common cause of cataracts is simply age. People over 40 are more prone to developing cataracts, which blur the vision and create a “haze” or “cloudiness” that can make it difficult—and sometimes impossible—to see. As we get older, our natural eye lens becomes less transparent. This stops light from entering the eye, resulting in an opaque lens. That opaqueness is the cataract. In the early stages of cataract development, updating your glasses or contact lens prescription can help. However, there comes a point when cataract surgery is the only way to improve vision.

Although age is the most common cause of cataracts, there are other potential causes. Trauma to the eye can cause a sudden and sometimes severe cataract. There are some medications that can also cause cataracts (remember that it’s always important to talk to your prescribing doctor before stopping or modifying prescription medications). Certain diseases, such as diabetes, can also accelerate the development of cataracts. Finally, there is a genetic component to cataracts. This means it’s possible that you may have inherited cataracts from your parents.

How to Tell if You Have Cataracts or Another Vision Issue?

Cataracts are often described as a persistent “cloudiness” or a haze. However, these are just the most common presentations or symptoms of cataracts. While some people simply describe their vision as “blurry” from a cataract, blurriness is a vague term also used by those describing difficulties with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Cataracts can sometimes cause double vision or poor vision in bright light. Many patients describe seeing a “halo” around lights, and poor night vision or a yellowish tinge to colors are also signs of cataracts.

The only way to know for certain what’s causing your poor vision is to see an Ophthalmologist. It’s not unusual for a person to have multiple vision issues. A patient might have cataracts, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Furthermore, macular degeneration, diabetes or glaucoma can compound vision difficulty. Cataract surgery specifically addresses cataracts, and some approaches—such as upgrading to a multifocal lens—can also address additional types of vision issues. During a consultation, patients learn more about their unique vision problems and get personalized recommendations.

How to Tell if You Have Cataracts or Another Vision Issue?

Cataracts are often described as a persistent “cloudiness” or a haze. However, these are just the most common presentations or symptoms of cataracts. While some people simply describe their vision as “blurry” from a cataract, blurriness is a vague term also used by those describing difficulties with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Cataracts can sometimes cause double vision or poor vision in bright light. Many patients describe seeing a “halo” around lights, and poor night vision or a yellowish tinge to colors are also signs of cataracts.

The only way to know for certain what’s causing your poor vision is to see an Ophthalmologist. It’s not unusual for a person to have multiple vision issues. A patient might have cataracts, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Furthermore, macular degeneration, diabetes or glaucoma can compound vision difficulty. Cataract surgery specifically addresses cataracts, and some approaches—such as upgrading to a multifocal lens—can also address additional types of vision issues. During a consultation, patients learn more about their unique vision problems and get personalized recommendations.

Copper Eye Surgery, Phoenix, AZ

The Best Surgical Approach for You

Phacoemulsification is almost exclusively used when performing a cataract surgery today, and the preferred approach by board certified cataract surgeon Dr. Brierly. This surgery, as well as older techniques that have fallen out of practice, require the patient to follow a medicated eye drop regimen post-surgery for up to a few weeks. These eye drops are a critical part of the healing process and can help prevent infection.

Patients who are not good candidates for following a regimented post-operative eye drop treatment might be interested in the “dropless” cataract surgery available at Copper Eye Surgery. Dropless cataract surgery delivers the necessary medication directly to the eye during the cataract surgery so that the patient doesn’t have to use eye drops during their post-operative care.

Patients can discuss the benefits of the various cataract surgeries with Dr. Brierly during their consultation, contact Copper Eye Surgery at (480) 530-3535.

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