What is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that may eventually block light from properly passing through to the retina.
How common are cataracts? Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. More than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80. Cataracts can also be found in young people and even newborn babies.
Who’s at risk for developing cataracts? Most often, a cataract is simply part of the aging process. Other possible risk factors include:
• Exposure to UV rays from the sun
• Certain diseases, such as diabetes
• Long-term steroid use
• Eye injuries
What are the symptoms of a cataract? Generally, a cataract develops slowly and does not have symptoms but signs that a cataract may be forming could include:
• Clouded, blurred, or dimmed vision
• Increasing difficulty with vision at night
• Sensitivity to light and glare; seeing “halos” around lights
• Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
• Fading or yellowing of colors
Checking for signs of cataract development is an important part of an eye exam. Dr. Tabak can identify a cataract with ophthalmic instruments before symptoms become apparent. When a cataract begins to form, Dr. Tabak will monitor its progress recommending surgery if it becomes necessary.