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Cataracts Symptoms and Causes

Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s natural lens that affects many people as they age. Cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in adults 55 and over. The lens can become so clouded it prevents light and images from reaching the retina. Fortunately, we live in a time when correcting cataracts with surgery is relatively simple, and the results can be extraordinary. With today’s advances, some patients enjoy very good vision later in life.

Cataracts Symptoms

The following are the most common cataract symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Lights appear too bright and/or present a glare or a surrounding halo
  • Poor night vision
  • Multiple vision
  • Bright colors seem faded
  • Reading glasses or bifocals that used to help you see clearly no longer seem to be effective
  • Increased nearsightedness requires new eyeglass prescriptions
  • Distortion of vision in either eye

Often in the early stages of cataracts, people may not notice any changes in vision. Since cataracts tend to grow slowly, vision worsens gradually. Certain cataracts can also cause a temporary improvement in close-up vision that is likely to worsen as the cataract grows. Cataract symptoms may resemble other eye conditions. Consult a physician for diagnosis.

Cataracts Causes

Although scientists do not know for sure what causes cataracts, they suspect there could be several possible causes including:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Steroid use
  • Diuretic use
  • Certain major tranquilizers

For several of the potential causes listed, additional research is needed to differentiate the effect of the disease from the effect of the drugs themselves.