Most people over the age of 40 that suffer vision loss are developing cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness throughout the entire world. The number of cases of cataracts far eclipse the amount of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy cases combined!
There are three types of cataracts:
- Subcapsular Cataracts: Occurring at the back of the lens. These are most common in people who have diabetes or are regularly taking high doses of steroid medications.
- Nuclear Cataracts: Formed deep in the nucleus of the lens. This type of cataract is generally associated with aging.
- Cortical Cataracts: These tend to occur in the lens cortex—a part of the lens that encompasses the central nucleus. This type of cataract is generally known for its opaque wedge shapes that begin forming in the periphery of the lens and gradually move in towards the center.
According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA) as it stands right now, more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older are suffering from cataracts of some form. By the year 2020, this number is expected to rise to as many as 30 million!
To put it simply, cataracts are when your eye’s natural lens begins to cloud. Here are some early warning signs you might want to be on the lookout for if you are age 40 and above:
- Vision beginning to blur slightly
- Light sensitivity
- Increasing levels of glare from oncoming headlights when driving at night
- Colors appear to be dull
- Seeing “halos” around light sources
- Double vision in one of your eyes
Depending on the type of cataract you have started to develop you might not experience any symptoms or in some rare cases your near vision can actually improve temporarily. It is important to remember that cataracts generally develop slowly and won’t dramatically affect your vision early on.
If you believe you are beginning to develop a cataract, make sure to set up an appointment immediately so we can be sure, and begin planning your treatment.