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Cataracts Q & A

As of 2010, over 24 million Americans were diagnosed with cataracts!

Cataracts notoriously interfere with your daily life by impairing your vision and can lead to blindness. Dr. Mary Espy in Flint, Michigan, is a skilled general and medical optometrist who takes a holistic approach to treating this condition. Call or request an online appointment to seek a solution for cataracts.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts initially start as cloudy vision and are the most common cause of vision loss among people over the age of 40.

There are three different types of cataracts:

Subcapsular cataract

This type occurs at the back of the lens and tends to affect people with diabetes or those taking high levels of steroid medications.

Nuclear cataract

A nuclear cataract forms deep inside the nucleus of the lens and is typically associated with aging.

Cortical cataract

This type of cataract manifests in white opacities that impede your vision, starting in the periphery of the lens and making its way to the center. It occurs in the lens cortex, which surrounds the nucleus.

What are symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts are notorious for having gradual effects on your vision. They initially show up as hazy, blurred vision that doesn’t seem too serious. A cataract may also generate a sensitivity to light or gradual color blindness.

The type of cataract also determines the symptoms and their onset.

For example, a nuclear cataract often brings about a temporary improvement in nearsightedness that soon disappears, and a subcapsular cataract might not exhibit any symptoms until it’s reached its advanced stages.

General, encompassing symptoms include:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with night vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

It’s important to receive consistent eye exams and screenings to intercept and treat a cataract during its early stages. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light
  • Sudden eye pain
  • Sudden headache

What causes cataracts?

As the underlying cause of cataracts is a change to the tissues that make up your eyes’ lenses, most develop with aging or trauma to the eye.

Certain health problems or inherited disorders can also increase your risk of developing cataracts. Some of these causes include:

  • Certain eye conditions
  • Past eye surgery
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • Long-term use of steroid medications

Contact Dr. Mary Espy if you believe you may be at risk of developing cataracts. Early detection and surgery may eliminate the condition and the potential for blindness.