If you’re an archer or a baseball pitcher, you know how difficult it can be to consistently hit your target. It takes the right amount of precision and accuracy in your technique to land your tool perfectly into the sweet spot. This is a challenge even for those in peak condition. Now, imagine aiming for that same bulls-eye or strike zone when your vision gets blurred. The challenge becomes even greater. For some people, living with blurry or cloudy vision is no game – it’s their everyday life. It’s a life living with a condition known as cataracts.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts occur when the lens in our eye becomes cloudy. When we look at something, light rays travel into our eye, pass through the pupil, get focused through the lens, and finally reach the retina at the back of the eye. The focus of the lens is the critical component in being able to see objects clearly. If the lens gets cloudy in any way, your vision will become blurry. Some people describe the feeling as akin to trying to see through a dirty car windshield. This condition can develop in one or both eyes.
Because cataracts usually develop gradually, it’s sometimes difficult to know that you’re suffering from them. Still, over time, the symptoms tend to become more pronounced.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- More sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Faded or yellowing colors
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Frequent double vision in one eye
An eye care professional at Northside Eyecare can screen you for this condition based on any of the above, or other, symptoms.
Our eye lenses tend to become “cloudier” due to age. As time passes, extra proteins tend to form and harden on our lens thus making it more difficult to properly focus light. Besides age, some other risk factors that increase the risk of developing cataracts include: heredity, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and any previous eye injuries or surgeries.
There are a limited number of treatment options available.
In some cases, people will just deal with their cloudy vision so long as it doesn’t significantly interfere with their daily lives. For others, a change in eyewear prescription might be sufficient in addressing the issue. For most people, however, surgery is the only viable option. In this case, one’s natural eye lens will be replaced with an artificial version called an intraocular lens or IOL. Most people find their vision does dramatically improve with this special surgery.
It’s no secret that many of us take clear vision for granted. Our lives are much more enjoyable if we’re able to clearly see the world around us. So, don’t let your vision turn cloudy if you can help it. After all, you have various targets that you strive to hit every day. With a little help from Northside Eye Care, cataracts might not have to be one of them.