A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that blocks light rays from reaching the retina and results in a gradual blurring of vision. Cataracts may cause difficulty with vision at both distance and near, as well as problems with glare and halos around lights. Activities such as reading may become difficult, and driving – especially at night – could be hazardous. A change in glasses prescription can often improve vision when the cataract is in its earlier stages, however with time glasses may no longer fully correct the vision.
Risk factors for cataracts include:
-Age over 60
-Previous history of eye trauma, eye inflammation or eye surgery
-Systemic conditions such as diabetes mellitus
-History of corticosteroid medication use
-History of tobacco use
-Family history of cataracts
There is no known medical treatment to prevent cataracts. Certain lifestyle modifications may help, including wearing a hat and 100% UV protective sunglasses, discontinuing tobacco use, and eating a healthy diet full of antioxidants.
The time to consider treatment is when the decline in vision is affecting your quality of life.