Over 40? Beware of the early signs of cataracts

(NC) Detection for cataracts starts younger than you think. As you age, your eyes undergo natural changes. However, if this includes blurry vision, difficulty seeing in dim light or extra sensitivity to light, these might be symptoms of cataracts.

Recent studies have found that more than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts. This common eye disorder is typically caused by aging, though other risk factors include a family history of the condition, diabetes, some medications and prolonged sun exposure without proper protection.

As we grow older, the lenses of our eyes thicken and become cloudier. Cataracts are detected when vision is obstructed, similar to looking through a dirty car windshield. Eventually, those suffering from cataracts may find it more difficult to read, and colours of the objects around them may begin to appear dull or muted. Fortunately, the disorder can be corrected with surgery and risk can be lowered by using adequate sun protection and quitting smoking.

Since cataracts start small and grow over time, visual impairment may be underestimated by the person with the problem. The Canadian Ophthalmological Society recommends scheduling regular eye exams to be evaluated for the presence of cataracts and other potentially blinding eye disorders. If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see your eye care practitioner for a diagnosis and to discuss treatment.

It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies and health change in ways that can slow us down but prioritizing healthy vision can help to ensure we see clearly later in life. Learn more at cos-sco.ca.