Cataracts: Symptoms, Causes, and Tests

When most people think of cataracts, they correlate it with age and senior eye care, but age is not the only factor. Other factors can cause cataracts, including eye disease, eye injury, or other medical issues. At Dr. Philip Dixon, O.D. in Reedley, CA, offer patients quality senior eye care including eye exams and eye surgery.


Causes of Cataracts

Beginning at the age of 40, you may experience normal eye changes that happen as a result of the breakdown of normal proteins. Protein builds up in the lens, clouding the eye. Cataracts prevent light from coming through clearly and may cause you to lose some of your vision. You may not experience vision problems right away.

Types of Cataracts

Congenital: This is the term used when someone is born with cataracts as a baby. It can be caused by poor development while growing inside the womb, injury, or infection. These types of cataracts can also develop during childhood.

Age-related: These cataracts develop as you age.

Secondary: Secondary cataracts develop as a result of being exposed to ultraviolet light, toxic substances, or radiation. Secondary cataracts can also occur due to taking medicines like diuretics or medical conditions such as diabetes.

Traumatic: These cataracts form following an injury to your eye.

Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Increased challenges with nighttime vision
  • Blurry, cloudy, or dim vision
  • Sensitivity to glare and light
  • Difficulty reading
  • Double vision in one of the eyes
  • Constant adjustments in eyeglass prescriptions

Testing for Cataracts

Out eye doctor utilizes several eye exams to determine if you have cataracts. Cataracts and the severity are diagnosed by the following measures:

Pupil dilation: Your pupils are dilated to allow our specialist to get a full view of your lens. A thorough examination of your lens allows our optometrist to conclude if a cataract is affecting your vision quality.

Potential Acuity Test: A potential acuity test, also known as the PAM test, evaluates how good your vision would be if you did not have a cataract. The PAM test transmits a visual acuity eye chart into your eye with a laser for you to read. If the best results from the assessment are 20/40, then the surgeon will understand that you will have a minimum of 20/40 vision following eye surgery.

Contrast sensitivity: This test evaluates image contrast that is caused by glare and light scattering from the cataract.

Visit Our Optometrist

If you suspect you have cataracts, contact us at Dr. Philip Dixon in Reedley, CA to schedule an appointment. For more information about cataracts, eye surgery, senior eye care, or to schedule an appointment, call us at (559) 638-8288.

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