How Do I Know if I Have Cataracts?
Most people have heard of cataracts and understand that it is a common condition that affects our eyes and ability to see clearly. However, far less people have a thorough understanding of what cataracts actually are, and how to tell if they have the condition.
At Progressive Ophthalmology, we want you to stay on top of your ocular health by remaining knowledgable on the most common eye disorders. Detecting eye disorders early means that we can treat them, before they progress to a dangerous state. With this in mind, read on to find out how you can tell if you have cataracts, and the next steps you should take for diagnosing and treating your cataracts.
What are cataracts?
Around 24 million Americans over the age of 40 currently suffer from cataracts, and it the single most common cause of vision problems in the world.
The actual cataract is characterized by the presence of a cloudy area in the natural lens of the eye. Our sight is reliant on the progression of light through the eye, where it hits the retina at the back and interprets what we see. However, the clouds caused by cataracts prevent the light from reaching the back of the retina, causing our vision to become blurred or dimmed.
How can I tell if I am suffering from cataracts?
If you are experiencing problems with your vision, then you might be suffering from cataracts. However, there are also a number of other eye conditions that can impact your ability to see clearly.
While it may be tempting to try and self-diagnose your eye disorders, cataracts should only be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor. However, there are some symptoms that could indicate that you are more likely to have cataracts in one or both eyes and should visit your ophthalmologist immediately. These symptoms include:
- Seeing two of everything, or ‘seeing double’
- Being unable to tolerate particularly strong or bright light
- Feeling as though there is a thin film across the eyeball
- Vision that seems to be dingy or dimmed, as though it is first light or dusk.
You may also have cataracts if you currently wear eyeglasses, and find that while your prescription changes regularly, the quality in your vision doesn’t substantially improve.
Am I at greater risk of developing cataracts?
If you have any of the above symptoms then you could well have cataracts. However, the likelihood of the cause being cataracts increases if you:
- Are over the age of 40 (as age-related changes within your eye can make cataracts more likely to develop)
- Are a smoker
- Consume excessive amounts of alcohol
- Take drugs
- Have a poor diet
- Regularly expose your eyes to heat, radiation or UV light
- Take specific medications, such as steroids
- Suffer from certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Have direct family members with cataracts
If you believe that you may be suffering from cataracts, then seeking prompt diagnosis and treatment will give you the best chance of restoring your vision. Dr. Ahdoot will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the health of your eyes and your vision, to determine an accurate diagnosis. From here, he can suggest the best treatment for you.
To find out more about the symptoms of cataracts, or to schedule a consultation, please make an appointment at our modern, comfortable office serving patients in the Sunnyside, Queens and surrounding metropolitan New York City area, call us today at 718-565-2020.