According to Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute, cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have a cataract.

The word cataract comes from a Latin word meaning waterfall. It describes the whitening or cloudy effect of rushing water.

How Cataracts Form

You eye’s lens is made of water and protein. As you age, the protein can clump and begin to cloud within the lens. This clouded lens material is called a cataract. You may experience a slight fogginess to your vision that has a yellow tint to it. If left untreated, the cataract will cloud more of the lens and make it more difficult to see. In fact, cataracts account for 48% of correctable blindness in the world.

While almost everyone will eventually suffer from cataracts, not everyone will need to have these cataracts removed. Cataracts can also form in children, though it is not as common.

Cataract Symptoms

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Colors appear faded or dull
  • Poor night vision
  • Headlights or streetlights have glare or halos; sunlight may appear too bright
  • Double or multiple vision in one eye; this effect may disappear as the cataract grows
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses

Important Note: These symptoms can also be caused by other eye problems that may result in blindness if untreated. If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with us immediately for a complete eye examination.

What Causes Cataracts?

Besides aging, there are several other causes that are contributing factors to cataracts:

  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Eye injuries
  • Genetic factors (a parent or grandparent who had cataracts)
  • Long-term exposure to ultraviolet light

If you think you may be suffering from cataracts in Greenville, South Carolina, please call us today for an exam.