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When to Seek Medical Care
Eye-care professionals may mention during a routine eye exam that you have early cataract development even if you are not yet experiencing visual symptoms.
Although your doctor will be able to tell when you first begin to develop cataracts, you will generally be the first person to notice changes in your vision that may require cataract surgery. Clouding of the lens may start to be seen at any age, but it is uncommon before the age of 40. However, a large majority of people will not begin to have symptoms from their cataracts until many years after they begin to develop.
Since cataract development rarely causes any long-term damage to the eye, cataract surgery should be considered only when visual symptoms begin to develop. Whenever significant vision problems are noted, you should schedule an exam by an eye-care professional. Typical symptoms may include blurry vision, difficulty with glare or night vision, poor color vision, or frequent changes in eyeglass prescription.
For an early cataract changes, vision may be improved by simply changing your eyeglass prescription, using a magnifying lens, or increasing lighting when you do visually demanding tasks. Eventually, cataracts get to a point where the only effective intervention is surgery. This decision is made based mainly on the degree of visual limitation the patient is experiencing.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2014
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