No One Likes A Blurry Photo
Just like a camera, the eye requires a lens to focus light and obtain a clear image. Trying to take a picture with a dirty lens can lead to all sorts of problems. No amount of adjustment can focus the image, as the problem is with the lens. Similarly, trying to see through cataracts can cause problems as well.
Can’t I just clean my eye?
Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens begins to break down. Usually age-related, the proteins in the lens change and lose clarity. The result is a cloudy lens that sends nothing but dirty-looking images to the brain. Blurry vision, although bad, is not the only symptom that cataracts can cause.
You’re giving me a headache
In the early stages of cataract formation, there can be little effect on the ability to see. In many cases, cataracts can take years to start to impair vision. However, as cataracts become more prevalent, the disease can make things much harder to see. This, in turn, can lead to squinting or expanding the brow in an attempt to see clearly. Such strain on the eyes can lead to discomfort in the form of headaches.
Cataracts can also change the way eyes see through glasses and change the effectiveness of a prescription. Straining to see objects through glasses that no longer work as well can lead to headaches as well.
Why are there two of you?
To see clearly, light must pass through the lens and reach a singular spot on the back of the eye. As a lens becomes opaque from cataracts, the cloudiness can cause beams of light to split. These two beams of light then appear on the back of the eye in two places. The resulting effect, known as double vision, gives the illusion that objects have a twin.
Individuals can experience double vision from cataracts in both eyes. Often, cataracts can cause double vision in just one eye. Monocular diplopia, as this symptom is called, can lead to all sorts of confusion in the brain. One eye sees two of an object, and the other sees only one. The brain doesn’t know what to make of the mismatch.
What a pain in the eye
Cataracts are very slow-growing and are rarely cause discomfort or pain. However, cataracts reaching a large size can lead to an increase in pressure inside the eye. The pressure, known as glaucoma, can cause eye pain that should be treated immediately.
A cloudy lens can also make an eye become very sensitive to bright lights. Glare from light sources can be too much for the eye to handle. The intensity damages the back of the eye and causes a sharp feeling of pain.
Symptoms no more
While temporary at best, glasses can offer a slim chance of temporarily alleviating some of the symptoms listed above. At this time, cataracts are untreatable except through a surgical procedure. If any of these symptoms appear, consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible for treatment options.