If you’ve noticed that your vision has gotten worse over the years and is blurrier or not as bright as it used to be, you may have cataracts. Cataracts are a natural part of the eye’s aging process, and everyone will eventually develop them.

You will likely have many questions about cataracts after your eye doctor diagnoses you with them. Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and if cataracts are permanent!

What Is a Cataract?

A healthy eye has a lens that’s colorless and transparent. It rests behind the iris, the colored part of the eye, and bends light that comes into your eye.

The lens is flexible and allows the eye to focus, making objects close up and far away crisp and sharp. The lens can become cloudy and opaque over time, reducing the amount of light that enters the eye.

When the lens hardens and becomes cloudy, it affects the quality of your sight. The cloudy lens is called a cataract.

Those with cataracts say it’s like looking through a fogged-up window. When you have a cataract, you will likely notice that things are blurry, your nighttime vision worsens, and the world appears dimmer.

Are Cataracts Permanent?

At first, your cataracts may be causing mild symptoms and may not warrant surgery. Once your cataracts advance and start to interfere significantly with your vision, your eye doctor will likely recommend having them removed.

Although cataracts will not go away on their own, your eye doctor can easily remove them during minimally-invasive cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a very common procedure that is relatively short and requires minimal downtime during recovery.

Cataract surgery is the only way to restore vision and the best way to treat symptoms caused by advanced cataracts. 

Symptoms of a Cataract

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms below, it could be the start of cataracts:

Blurry, hazy, cloudy parts of your visionColors that are faded, less intense, reduced, or have a yellowish tintGlare from headlights when you drive at nightDouble vision or ghosting of imagesDifficulty seeing at nightDifficulty reading without additional bright light

Only your eye doctor can diagnose you with cataracts. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your eye doctor for an evaluation.

How Cataracts Develop and Why

Cataracts typically develop slowly. You may not notice a major change in vision, but you may feel that you do not see as well as you used to.

Most cataracts develop due to aging. It’s the most common cause of vision loss in adults forty and older.

However, there are a few factors that may cause cataracts to develop quickly or earlier in life. Medical conditions such as diabetes, certain drugs such as corticosteroids, and smoking can all contribute to the early development of cataracts.

In addition, injuries to the eye, eye surgery, or upper-body radiation therapy may also cause you to develop cataracts earlier in life.

When Should I Have Cataract Surgery? 

Your eye doctor will recommend cataract surgery when your reduced vision affects your daily activities or when you have difficulty performing everyday tasks. Once your eye doctor diagnoses you with cataracts, they will see you regularly to determine when surgery is necessary. 

Cataract surgery will replace your natural, clouded lens with an artificial lens to restore your vision. When it’s time for cataract surgery, Chicago Cornea Consultants offers a range of artificial lens options for you to choose from.

Your eye doctor will go over each one to help you determine which one will best accomplish your vision goals. You’ll be able to make a choice compatible with your lifestyle and may even reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. 

Are your cataracts interfering with your day-to-day life? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Chicago Cornea Consultants in Highland Park, IL, today!

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