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Cataracts


Cataracts: Symptoms, Causes, and Tests

When most people think of cataracts, they correlate it with age and senior eye care, but age is not the only factor. Other factors can cause cataracts at any age including eye disease, eye injury, or other medical issues. At Spectrum Eye Physicians, we will work with you to understand the symptoms, causes, and tests for cataracts.

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Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts are a condition where the eye lens becomes cloudy, and things appear hazy, blurry, or not as colorful as they should be. Since the most common cause of cataracts is due to age, senior eye care is essential. Beginning at the age of 40, you may experience normal eye changes that happen as a result of the breakdown of proteins. The protein builds up in the lens, making it cloudy. It prevents light from coming through clearly and may cause slight vision loss. If you have cataracts, you may not experience vision problems right away.

Types of Cataracts

Congenital: This is when someone’s eyes have cataracts at birth. It can be caused by poor development while inside of the womb, injury, or an infection. These types of cataracts can also develop during childhood.

Age-related: These cataracts develop as you age.

Secondary: This happens due to being exposed to ultraviolet light, toxic substances, or radiation. This can also happen due to taking medicines like diuretics or medical conditions like diabetes.

Traumatic: These cataracts form after an injury to your eye.

Symptoms of Cataracts

You might not notice any difference in your vision during the early stages of cataracts. As the condition progresses, the symptoms will become more obvious. The most common symptom of cataracts is cloudy vision. Other common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Increased challenges with nighttime vision
  • Sensitive to glare and light
  • Brighter lights are needed for reading
  • Double vision in one of the eyes
  • Constant adjustments in eyeglass prescriptions

Eye Exams

Cataracts can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Our team utilizes several eye exams to determine whether or have cataracts or not. Cataracts and the severity of the condition are diagnosed using measures like:

Pupil dilation: During the dilation of your eye, the size of your pupil increases which allows the specialist to get a full view of your lens. When the lens is thoroughly examined, the specialist can conclude if a cataract is affecting your vision quality.

Potential Acuity Test: The potential acuity test, also known as the PAM test, evaluates how good your vision would be if you did not have a cataract. The PAM test uses a laser to transmit a visual acuity eye chart into your eye for you to read.

Contrast sensitivity: This test evaluates image contrast that is caused by glare and light scattering from the cataract.

Contact Us

If you suspect you have cataracts, contact us at Spectrum Eye Physicians to schedule an appointment. Our team will work with you every step of the way. We treat patients at our locations in San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz. Call us at (408) 884-2215 to see how we can help you and your family’s vision.

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