Recognize the Symptoms of Cataracts

Your eyes are the windows to your soul and the lens of your eye; you use them every day for everything from driving to reading to seeing your loved one’s face. With age, the proteins in your lens can clump and cause things to look blurry, hazy, or less colorful, which are a few of the recognizable symptoms of cataracts. It is so important not to delay or deny scheduling your eye exam!

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment, especially in older adults? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts affect 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older, or about one in every six people in this age range. By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with cataracts is expected to double to 50 million.

We also want to mention a few behaviors that can put you at a higher risk of getting a cataract. A few of those behaviors include:

  • Smoking
  • Too many long periods of fun in the sun without eye protection
  • Using steroid medications
  • Radiation treatments on your upper body

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is time to schedule an appointment with us soon.

The World Seems Cloudy

Cataracts start small at first and may have a small effect on your vision. Viewing all things within your beautiful world, your vision may be affected by not seeing clearly, which can hinder your view because it may seem blurry, cloudy, or dim. This effect usually increases over time.

Difficulty Driving At Night

As cataracts advance, it can be hard to distinguish between light and dark. This difficulty can affect your night vision and make specific nighttime activities such as driving more difficult. If you suspect you have cataracts or feel unsafe driving, talk to a family member or friend to drive instead. Making this choice will keep you and others on the road safe!

Need Stronger and More Light

If you are trying to complete a favorite hobby like reading, painting, or sewing, completing a detail-oriented task, you may need and require a stronger light to help focus. Increasing your light might work first, but stronger light won’t help as your cataract grows.

Colors Look Faded

When cataracts mature, seeing your favorite color may look faded or less intense. For example, your comfy cherished white t-shirt or sweater will start looking yellow. Matured cataracts may be brown or yellow, which can cause anything you see to look yellow or brown.

Frequent Prescription Changes

Advancement of cataracts could affect you from seeing distances clearly to needing frequent prescriptions to see a Stop sign. Sudden vision changes could be a sign that you could have cataracts.

Do any of these symptoms seem familiar to you? If so, schedule a cataract evaluation TODAY to discuss your vision changes and any other symptoms you may be experiencing.

Experiencing Cataract Symptoms?

If you have noticed changes to your vision, it is good to come in for an eye exam. In this modern age of incredible medical advancements, there is no reason to ignore your eye health. Give us a call TODAY to schedule an appointment! 

Our TOP priority is your lifelong eye health!

The Eye Center of of North Florida

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Optometric Association

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This newsletter provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided in this newsletter and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.



March is Women’s History Month, celebrating women’s contributions to history, society, medicine, and culture. There have been groundbreaking contributions from women within eye healthcare as well.

Did you know that women are at greater risk for eye disease and visual impairments? According to the Women’s Eye Health Organization, women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s blind and visually impaired population, which is the main reason the Women’s Eye Health Organization was established in 2001 in response to this troubling reality.

We strive to educate women and our patient family to empower patients to make healthy lifestyle changes to improve their eye health.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studies show a gender gap in eye diseases. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma. Women make up 65 percent of AMD cases, 61 percent of glaucoma and cataract patients are women, and 66 percent of blind patients are women. Why the gender gap? There are a few theories. On average, women live longer, and many eye problems are age-related.

Unique Vision Problems Women Need To Closely Watch

  • Dry Eyes – Occurs double the rate in postmenopausal women
  • Autoimmune Diseases – Women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and hyperthyroiditis
  • Pregnancy – vision changes due to the hormones pregnant women experience

Women, It Is Now Time To Take Care Of Yourself!

Women often make the majority of their family’s health care decisions. In addition to being responsible for their own health, women are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouse, and aging parents. We encourage all women to carve out some time for themselves today and take care of themselves so that they can continue to be that shining star for their loved ones. Call TODAY to schedule your appointment for an eye exam! In the meantime, here are a few simple steps in taking care of you and improving your eye health:

  • Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish.
  • Drop the smoking habit. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Protect Your Eyes. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
  • Know Your Family History. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. A family history of glaucoma increases your glaucoma risk by four to nine times.
  • Use Cosmetics Safely. Throw away eye makeup after three months and get new products. Infection-causing bacteria grow quickly in creamy or liquid eye makeup.

We encourage women as well as men to get regular eye exams. Making eye health a top priority today can help protect your eye health as you age.

References: Women’s Eye Health Organization, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and American Optometric Association

I Have Been Diagnosed With Cataracts. Now What?

If you have been diagnosed by your eye doctor with a cataract, you are not alone. According to the National Eye Institute, cataract affects over 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older. Here at The Eye Center of North Florida, we are also here for you to ensure you have the best support for your cataract diagnosis. 

Here are a few recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to follow once diagnosed with a cataract. 

  • Have an eye exam every year if you’re older than 65, or every two years if younger.
  • Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent UV and a hat.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking is a key risk factor for cataracts.
  • Use brighter lights for reading and other activities. A magnifying glass may be helpful to use.
  • Limit driving at night once night visionhalos, or glare can affect driving safety.
  • Take care of any other health problems, especially diabetes.
  • When it becomes challenging to complete your regular activities, consider cataract surgery.
  • Make an informed decision about cataract surgery. Have a discussion with your eye doctor about:
    • the surgery,
    • preparation for and recovery after surgery,
    • benefits and possible complications of cataract surgery,
    • cataract surgery costs,
    • other questions you have.

Protect Your Eyes 

You may be able to slow down your development of cataracts. Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to do this. Make sure to wear sunglasses that screen out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. 

Cataract Treatment

How can cataracts be removed? Cataracts can be removed only with surgery. If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, talk with your eye doctor to see when is your best time to remove the cataract. Your eye doctor can suggest options that will be best to suit your needs. 

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy natural lens. Then your eye surgeon will replace it with an artificial lens. This new lens is called an intraocular lens (or IOL). When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will educate you about IOLs and how they work.

Cataracts are a prevalent reason people lose their vision, but looking on the positive side of things, you should be confident that cataracts can be treated. There is no reason you have to suffer vision loss in this day and age when this specific diagnosis can easily be reversed. Talk with your eye doctor about your cataract symptoms, and together you can decide whether you are ready for cataract surgery. We make a great team with our patients!  

We LOVE Our Patients, and THANK YOU for being part of our practice family! 

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo


References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.