If you are an older adult, you may be worried about how a cataract diagnosis might affect the clarity of your vision. You may even be already experiencing the symptoms of cataracts, including sensitivity to light and glare, difficulty seeing in low light, haloes around lights, or blurred vision.
Keep reading to learn more about cataracts, including which types cause the most blurry vision!
Cataracts and Blurry Vision
Often, one of the most troublesome symptoms of cataracts is blurred vision. Having impaired vision can significantly impact your quality of life, making everyday tasks, like reading a newspaper or driving your car, increasingly difficult.
If you are experiencing blurred vision, you may be wondering which type of cataract you might have. While most, if not all, types of cataracts blur your vision, the developmental stage of your cataracts also has an effect on the quality of your vision.
What Are The Most Common Types of Cataracts?
There are different types of cataracts. They are categorized by where cataracts begin to develop within the eye as well as any underlying causes. The most common types of cataracts are:
This type of cataract forms in the center of the lens of the eye. They develop slowly, and it may take years to notice any symptoms, some of which are new or increased nearsightedness and difficulty distinguishing between tones of the same color.
These cataracts begin to appear around the edge of the lens and look like white spokes that radiate from the center of the lens. Like all cataracts, cortical cataracts affect your vision by interfering with the ability of light to pass through the center of the lens.
Subcapsular cataracts develop at the back of the lens, near the lens capsule, which holds and protects the lens. This type of cataract develops more quickly than other types of cataracts, and if you have this type of cataract, you may find yourself needing to change your eye prescription more often than normal.
What Are Some of the Less Common Types of Cataracts?
There are types of cataracts that can cause blurry vision that are less common than others. Here are some of the less common types of cataracts:
Traumatic cataracts can develop as a result of an injury to the eye. It may take years after the injury for these cataracts to form.
These cataracts are present at birth or develop within the first year of life. These cataracts can be either genetic or due to infection or trauma while the baby is developing during pregnancy.
Secondary cataracts occur as a result of an existing health condition, including chronic disease, exposure to a toxic substance, prolonged exposure to radiation or UV light, or long-term use of certain medications, like corticosteroids or diuretics.
What Are The Stages of Cataracts?
Often, it is less the specific type of cataract and more the stage of development that causes the blurriest vision. The four basic stages of cataract development are early, immature, mature, and hypermature.
In the early stage of cataract development, the lens of the eye has not yet become cloudy, but you may notice some of the common signs and symptoms of cataracts. These can include difficulties changing focus between near and far, mildly blurred vision, moderate eye strain, and some light sensitivity.
At the immature stage, your lens becomes cloudy as proteins on the lens build-up, making them appear increasingly opaque. You may find you are more sensitive to bright lights or glare, and you may also need brighter light to see things close up.
By the time cataracts have developed into the mature stage, your vision is likely to be severely compromised. The symptoms of early stages become more pronounced, and new symptoms can develop, including seeing halos around lights and changes in your perception of colors.
In the mature stage, changes to the appearance of the lens of your eye can be noticeable. The lens of your eye may appear partly or completely covered with a milky film.
The mature stage of cataracts is often when your vision is the blurriest.
Once you have reached the hypermature stage of cataracts, your vision may be completely impaired, and the lens of your eye will have started to harden, making it harder to remove during cataract surgery. If left untreated, cataracts in the hypermature stage cause inflammation and pressure within the eye that can damage the optic nerve, resulting in significant vision loss.
How Are Cataracts Treated?
No matter what type of cataracts you are diagnosed with or at what stage those cataracts are, the best way to restore your clear vision is cataract surgery. In fact, cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries worldwide.
During cataract surgery, the natural, clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear, artificial intraocular lens, also known as an IOL. In addition to restoring clear vision, an IOL can also reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eyewear.
While the most basic replacement IOL can restore your vision at one distance, premium IOL options can improve your vision at two or more distances. Premium IOLs can also be used to correct astigmatism.
The best way to prevent cataracts from impacting your eyesight is to consult with your eye doctor at Nevada Eye Physicians as soon as you start to experience any of the signs or symptoms of cataracts, including blurry vision.
If you have blurred vision caused by cataracts, your eye doctor has treatment options so that cataracts do not permanently affect your ability to see the world clearly.
Are you experiencing blurry vision? Schedule an appointment at Nevada Eye Physicians in Las Vegas, NV, today!