Symptoms and Signs of Cataracts

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/20/2021

Doctor's Notes on Cataracts, Symptoms Signs, Types, Pictures, Treatment, and Cure

Cataracts, no matter which type, fundamentally change (reduce) the clarity of the lens structure of the eye. Signs and symptoms of cataracts are characterized by the patient's comment that it looks like you are seeing the world through a foggy car windshield or a dirty camera lens. Other signs and symptoms include blurry vision, glare, dull color vision, and increased nearsightedness. Cataracts are usually not painful and gradually cause the signs and symptoms.

The causes of cataracts are mainly due to the protein in the eye lens slowly being altered over time, clouding the lens. Other causes of cataracts include hereditary enzyme defects, trauma, eye surgery, and intraocular inflammation. Other associated causes may include ultraviolet light exposure, steroids, smoking, and diabetes.

What Are the Treatments for Cataracts?

Cataracts can only effectively be treated, to date, by surgery. The surgical treatment of cataracts involves the following:

  • You and your doctor agree that the cataract(s) are starting to decrease your quality of life (can't read well, can't drive at night, for example).
  • The eye surgeon will set a time for you to get the surgery. The surgery is done, in most instances, as outpatient surgery so you will not require hospitalization.
  • The doctor may use a mild IV sedative as most people are awake during the procedure.
  • A doctor administers a local anesthetic to numb the eye, the lens is removed, and an artificial lens is inserted to become a permanent part of your eye.
  • Usually, if both eyes need the surgery, the second eye is not treated until the first cataract surgery has healed (about 8 weeks).

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.