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Early signs of cataracts and how they can be avoided

Goficure - Blog Page - Early signs of cataracts and how they can be prevented? (Blog Post) Last Updated March 5, 2024

Overview

Cataracts are gradual clouding of the lens of the eyes. This is generally an age-related condition but may develop due to other medical conditions like diabetes, steroid medication, or eye injuries.

Most people develop cataracts after the age of 55 but it can also occur in the early 40s and occasionally in children and infants.

Cataracts generally grow slowly and some people may be unaware that they have it. This is why it is important to detect the early signs of cataracts and get effective medical intervention. As the condition progresses, the vision declines; if left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

What are the early signs of cataracts?

The early symptoms of a cataract can be mild and it may be difficult to detect them at first. Some people may not even notice any visible changes in their vision. This is why it is important to take regular eye exams as reach the age of 40 or more.

The symptoms may differ from individual to individual and are based on disease progression.

The early signs of cataracts include:

An opaque white area in the eye

At the early stage of the cataract, you may notice a thin, opaque film present in some parts of the white area of your eye. Later on, as the cataract matures, the thin film becomes milky and covers almost all parts of the affected eye. At this stage, you can see your cataract in the mirror and it is visible to others as well.

Blurred vision

Blurry vision can be one of the earliest indicators that you may have developed cataracts. You will have difficulty reading the book and your night vision will be diminished to some extent. This happens because the proteins in the eye form clumps and prevent the light enter your eye and your vision is distorted.

Colours are faded

As cataracts grow, the colours become dull and fade. It seems as if you are looking through a tinted glass. Everything appears a little brownish or yellowish. This happens because as the cataracts deteriorate, the proteins turn yellow or brown. You will have trouble differentiating colours.

Sensitivity to light

Your eyes become sensitive to light. This happens when the cataracts develop at the back of the eye lens. Watching television for too long or the computer or light flashes become painful.

Halos and glare

As the cataract grows, the eye lens becomes hard and you start seeing ringlets and halos around bright sources of light like car headlights or street lights. This is more prominent during the night.

Difficulty in night vision

One of the earliest symptoms of cataracts is difficulty seeing at night. You may notice that your nighttime vision is slowly deteriorating. You will find it increasingly difficult to see in dim lights or the dark.

Change in prescription eyeglasses

As your vision quality deteriorates, the distant objects may be less clear, and you will need frequent changes in prescription eyeglasses.

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Can cataracts be prevented?

There are no sure-shot ways to avoid or prevent cataracts but there are strategies like lifestyle changes or diet that can reduce the rapid progression of the disease or delay the process of vision loss.

Tips to reduce the risks of developing cataracts and delay vision loss:

Eye protection

Wear sunglasses whenever you are going out. Wear safety eyewear while playing outdoor games like soccer to avoid eye injury or trauma. You can wear helmets during contact sports.

Safety goggles can protect your eyes while you are working with chemicals or outdoors around debris.

Healthy food habits

Avoid processed foods. Eat a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits that are loaded with antioxidants. Broccoli and spinach are rich in Vitamin E and so are almonds and peanuts. They are good for the eyes.

Reduce sugar intake to minimize the risks of developing diabetes. Quit unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking alcohol as it increases the risks of cataracts.

Go for regular eye checkups

Once you are 40 years old, go for regular eye checkups to look for symptoms of cataracts or other eye disorders like glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc. Early detection can help monitor the symptoms and slow down the disease progression to some extent.

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Final words

Cataracts cannot be completely prevented but maintaining a healthy lifestyle or taking care of eye health can delay the onset of the disease. Apart from healthy eating, keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels under control. If you are experiencing any early signs of cataracts, go to your ophthalmologist and get your eyes checked.

Dos
  • Have regular eye check-ups
  • Maintain blood sugar levels
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation
Don'ts
  • Ignore symptoms of eye irritation or vision loss
  • Delay follow-up visits
  • Spending too much time watching television or in front of the computer

 

 

 

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