What are cataracts?
The human eye is like a camera, your eye has a clear lens through which light passes for you to see. Like a camera, when the lens of the eye is cloudy, not as much light can pass through the lens. Clouding of the human eye lens is called a cataract, a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. Cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision.
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common cause of cataract is more candles on the cake. The lens inside of our eyes naturally become cloudy over time. Cataracts can also be cause by UV light exposure, diet, eye trauma, previous eye surgeries and certain types of medications. It is said that if you live long enough everyone will get cataracts.
How Do I Know If A Cataract Is Developing?
One of the first noticeable symptoms of cataracts is a bothersome glare that makes night driving difficult. Other symptoms include halos around lights, light sensitivity, double vision in one eye or temporarily improved near vision.
You may be ready for surgery when you can no longer do the things you enjoy in your everyday life. These might include driving at night, reading, painting, sewing, golfing, reduced socializing. Things you normally like to do, you now avoid because they are more difficult.
If you are still unsure, take the Cataract Self-Evaluation Test:
Please circle all that applies to your situation.
Does your vision make it a challenge for you to:
- read the newspaper?
- read a book?
- read a traffic sign?
- drive in the rain?
- drive in bright sunshine?
- drive in the fog?
- see a road sign at a distance?
- recognize a face from across the room?
- read the television menu?
- enjoy your hobbies?
Do you have difficulty in judging distances:
- seeing steps?
- walking down stairs?
- while driving?
Do you have trouble
- transitioning from bright light to dark?
- driving through a tunnel?
- seeing objects in the shade when you are in the sunshine?
Are you bothered by
- poor night vision?
- seeing star-bursting or rings around lights?
- glare from headlights?
- glare from sunshine?
- blurry vision?
- eyes are fighting each other?
- Do you find that you need brighter light to read?
- Does your vision cause you to be fearful during the daytime?
- Does your vision cause you to be fearful during the night or dusk?
- Do you avoid driving due to your vision?
How do you feel your vision is affecting your life on a scale of 1-10
(1 is no problem, my vision is fine and 10 is my vision is impacting my life.)
Circle one: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The above is taken from the Patient Guide to Successful Cataract Surgery. It can be downloaded for free to your computer. If you are still unsure as to how or when to proceed to improve your vision, feel free to call us at 360.435.8595.
The Harman Eye Clinic
903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223
360-474-2561 360-435-8595 FAX 360-435-5233