Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor

How can I tell if I have cataracts?

Each lens of our eyes allows light to enter and focuses that light so that we can see clear, sharp images.

Cataracts are a natural part of aging.

As we age, this lens becomes cloudy. The result is that light cannot pass into the eye as well or focus as well. This results in our vision becoming blurry. This process usually occurs very gradually, so it may not be noticed at first.

Blurry vision may be the most common symptom of cataracts, but there are other symptoms such as becoming more nearsighted, having poor night vision or seeing halos and glare. Cataracts can also affect a person’s ability to detect contrast and can skew a person’s color perception.

Cataracts can be removed by a surgical procedure that breaks the cataract into small pieces and removes it. An artificial lens is then placed inside the eye to replace the clouded one.

If you have concerns about your vision, contact your health care provider who may refer you to an eye specialist (an ophthalmologist).

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