Do You or a Loved One Have Cataracts?Sight
When someone’s vision begins to change, often in the early stages they are not even aware of it, but there are signs and symptoms you might notice.
There are many eye conditions that can alter our vision, including cataracts.
Cataracts develop slowly. That is why in the early stages of cataract formation, the person may not be wholly aware that it’s happening. If you suspect that you or a loved one (who may be in denial) has diminishing sight that may be caused by cataracts, it is helpful to know some early warning signs.
Early Signs of Possible Cataract(s):
Early symptoms may happen once in a while. At first, someone with a newly developing cataract may think that their glasses or contacts are always dirty. Or they may need more light to read than they used to, or they may feel a new need to wear sunglasses because everything seems to have more glare. If they wear prescription glasses or contacts, they may start needing new prescriptions more often.
Signs and Symptoms that You or Someone You Know May Have Cataracts:
- Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
- Spots of fuzzy vision – like a spot that can’t be blinked away
- Greater difficulty with vision at night
- Increased sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing “halos” around lights
- More frequent changes in glasses or contact prescription
- Colors may seem faded or more yellow
- One eye may have double vision
You should always see an eye doctor if you notice a change in our vision, especially if you are experiencing some of the above signs and symptoms. If someone you love is mentioning some of those early signs, it’s very important that you say something, because cataracts left untreated can cause blindness.
Cataracts do not just happen in older people.
We associate cataracts most often with the aging process, and there is a correlation. But younger people can get cataracts too. There are a number of things, other than aging, that can cause someone to develop cataracts such as:
- Eye trauma
- Illness in the eye
- Disease or trauma to a fetus in utero
If You Suspect Cataracts – How to Get Help
If you or a loved one suspect cataracts, the most important thing at this point is to get in to see an eye doctor for diagnosis, because once a cataract begins to develop you can’t stop it from growing. Surgery is required.
There are, however, some things you or your loved one can do so slow down the cataract growth:
- Take medications to manage chronic illnesses associated with cataract development, like diabetes.
- Quit smoking.
- Moderate how much alcohol you drink or stop drinking altogether.
- Get help ending other kinds of substance abuse.
- Eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals, and take vitamin supplements if necessary.
- Get enough exercise to manage weight and blood sugar.
- Wear ultraviolet-protecting sunglasses because UV radiation damages the lens of the eye.
Reassure Your Loved One: Cataract Surgery is an Outpatient Low Risk Procedure
Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed by ophthalmic surgeons, with more than 25 million performed each year around the world. Cataract surgery is considered to be very safe. It is an outpatient procedure that has been perfected so that most people with cataracts have great results and there is minimal risk. Most people have few major side effects. The mild side effects include itching and fluid discharge.
Post-surgery patients are instructed not to bend over or pick up heavy objects and to expect blurry vision for a period of time, so assistance by loved ones will be critical during this part of the healing.
If the diagnosis is cataracts in both eyes, these will be done in separate procedures. One eye is allowed to heal before the second surgery is performed.
LSH might be able to help with the cost of your eye surgery/procedure.
To find out if you qualify go to How Do I Qualify or call 1-800-647-6638.
Our staff is happy to provide guidance through the process.