Cataract: 5 Early Warning Signs to Look Out For

A cataract is the progressive clouding of the eye lens. It represents the leading form of preventable blindness in the world and comes with some early detectable warning signs. Here are five of the most common ones to look out for. 

A cataract is caused by the breakdown of proteins in the lens of an eye. They can be caused by an injury but are most commonly a result of the natural aging process. This breakdown of proteins causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy, initially impairing vision. If left untreated, however, a cataract can lead to blindness. 

Here are the five most common early warning signs of a cataract. Be sure to keep an eye out for them and visit your optometrist right away if you suddenly experience any of the following symptoms.

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5 Early Warning Signs of a Cataract

People with a cataract often compare the initial vision impairment it causes to looking through a frosted or foggy window. This eye disease is known for its slow progression and a cataract may not cause any issues with your sight until it further progresses. At first, eyeglasses and stronger lighting may help a patient deal with their cataract. But as time goes on, and the cataract begins to interfere with your everyday activities, cataract surgery might be necessary. 

Below are the five most common early warning signs of a cataract. Use this list to determine if you might be suffering from one and be sure to visit your optometrist as soon as you can if you suspect you are. 

1. Poor night vision: A cataract may make it more difficult for you to see at night, especially when driving a vehicle and dealing with the glare of oncoming headlights. 

2. Double vision in one eye: Some people who have a cataract will experience double vision in one of their eyes. If this suddenly happens to you, make sure you book an appointment with your optometrist so they can examine the affected eye.

3. Seeing halos or increased light sensitivity: If you begin to see halos around light sources or find that your eyes are suddenly extra sensitive to light, then this may be a sign that a cataract has developed in one of your eyes. 

4. Eye lens discolouration: Those with a cataract are sometimes able to see a discernible change in the lens of their eye. At first, it may seem your lens has been tinted a brownish or yellowish shade. As time goes on and the cataract progresses, interfering more with your vision in the process, the discolouration may appear purple or blue.

5. Cloudy vision: The hallmark symptom of a cataract is cloudy vision. Most patients say it is like they are looking through a fogged-up window or one that has been frosted over. Since a cataract progresses slowly, this symptom is often experienced later on in its development. 


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See Your Optometrist at the First Sign of a Cataract

Anytime you experience a change to your vision, your first call should be to your optometrist. They have the experience and advanced tools to properly diagnose whatever vision problem you may be suffering from.

Should any of the above early warning signs of a cataract befall you, be sure to book a comprehensive eye exam right away. Once properly diagnosed, there are many treatment options available to slow the progression of a cataract or mitigate its effects. Cataract surgery is also an extremely effective and safe procedure, but with proper treatment, you may be able to delay the need for it. 

If you would like to book an eye exam in SE Calgary with one of our experienced optometrists, be sure to book an appointment today.

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If you want more information about our affordable eye exams and advanced eye care in SE Calgary, contact Specs in the City today. Simply give us a call at 403-252-2020 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us. We have also instituted extensive COVID-19 safety protocols and precautions at our clinic, so we can keep our customers and staff safe during these still uncertain times.

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Can cataracts be cured?

While a cataract is incurable, it can be effectively treated. Cataract surgery can also be performed. The procedure sees the removal of the affected eye lens replaced with an intraocular one. 

Is cataract surgery painful?

Most patients report that cataract surgery is painless. For those who do experience discomfort during surgery, their ophthalmologist can take steps to reduce or limit the pain.

How fast do cataracts grow?

The majority of cataracts develop quite slowly and do not require surgery for months or even years. That being said, some types of cataracts progress quickly, causing cloudy vision within only a few months.

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