How to spot cataract symptoms this winter

Cataracts are very common and in most cases, they are age-related, with at least a third of people aged over 65 developing cataracts in one or both eyes.

What are cataracts?

A cataract occurs when the clear, natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy due to protein build up, affecting your vision.

They can be caused by being very short sighted, smoking, UV exposure over the years, diabetes, and some medications.

Early signs of cataracts

Cloudy or blurry areas in your vision are usually one of the first signs of cataracts. There are other less noticeable signs, such as colours appearing faded or sensitivity to light. Cataracts can make it harder to see at night or in low light too.

Cataracts and driving

There are many reasons to get your eyes checked if you’re getting any of the above symptoms, but it’s especially important if you drive.

As we have so few hours of light during the winter as well as cloud cover, whatever we do have can be dimmer than usual. This, along with having cataracts, can make it much harder to see, making driving dangerous.

Preventing cataracts

If you are cataract-free and want to stay that way, one of the most important things to do is to protect your eyes from the sun and its harmful UV rays. Studies show that UV rays can cause cumulative damage the lenses in your eyes, causing cataracts to form over time. So make sure you wear sunglasses or Transitions glasses all year, even on overcast days.

What to do if you have cataract symptoms

The first thing to do if you are concerned about cataracts is to book an eye exam. At our opticians in Kendal, Windermere, Grange, and Penrith, we also use advanced 3D OCT scans to check the back of your eyes for early signs of cataracts and to monitor their progress.

The OCT also lets us check for other eye conditions which can be hard to detect because of the cataracts. When the cataracts reach a certain stage we can refer you for cataract surgery on the NHS, a quick and safe surgery that takes just 15-20 minutes.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, why not contact us for advice or to book an appointment today?