Published On: Fri, Sep 4th, 2020

Let’s talk about the symptoms of cataracts and what causes them (part one)

First of all, let me describe to you what a cataract is. Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens behind the iris. This lens refracts (bends) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear, as the top lens in the illustration below. Make yourself sure to understand the difference. With that said, let’s continue!

Vision Problems with Cataracts

If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy, just like the bottom lens in the illustration above. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy, or less colorful with cataracts.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Here are some vision changes you might notice if you have cataracts:

∙ Having a blurry vision.

∙ Seeing double (when you see two images instead of one) with one eye.

∙ Being extra sensitive to light.

∙ Having trouble seeing well at night or needing more light when you read.

∙ Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead.

What Causes Cataracts?

There are many reasons, but the most common cause of cataracts is aging. This is due to normal eye changes that happen to start around age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.

Other reasons you might get cataracts can include:

•  Having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts.

  • Having certain medical problems, such as diabetes.
  • Having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body.
  • Having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Using certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause the early formation of cataracts.

Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Other cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors cannot predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.

You might be able to slow your development of cataracts. I’ll tell you some advice:

Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to do this. Wear sunglasses that screen out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. Also, you can wear regular eyeglasses that have a clear, anti-UV coating. But, you better talk with your doctor to learn more about it.

That’s pretty much it! However, I want you to know that I will write about the treatments in the second part, so don’t miss it! And also you must know that in case you have the symptoms, doubts, or suspicions about this disease, you can create an appointment online on the platform Doctoranytime. It will be easier for you to know the treatment you need, or if you really have cataracts.

*Taken mostly from the American Academy of Ophthalmology web page, of which I am a member.

by Yoram Zevnovaty B., MD

  • Monte Irazu 160, Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico City
  • Phone numbers: 55 2623 200 up to 2003: 55 56525328 and 55 56526585
  • Web page:

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