Signs of Cataracts

October 15, 2020

October is a scary month whether you believe in the Great Pumpkin or not. While most of us have a healthy fear of Chicago’s myriad haunted houses and of the scary movie marathons on AMC, there’s one thing about your eyes that really isn’t that scary — cataracts.

The development of cataracts, the eye disease in which the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque, is quite common. By the age of 65, over 90 percent of people have a cataract. Half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract. Cataracts are just a part of getting older as proteins accumulate in the lenses of our eyes and they begin to become cloudy.

Fortunately, cataract surgery is the most successful surgery in the world. It takes just a few minutes and removes the clouded natural lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This instantly clears the patient’s vision and with today’s technologically advanced IOLs, vision can actually be improved from where it was before you developed the cataract.

At Millennium Park Eye Center, our highly trained ophthalmic surgeons perform thousands of cataract surgeries and we’re proud of our reputation for excellence. There’s no need to live with the clouded vision caused by cataracts.

Although we can see cataracts in your eyes when we perform our regular eye exams, patients often wonder what signs they will start to see as cataracts develop. Let’s get into that.

What are the signs and symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight in their early stages. But as the proteins build in your lenses, they will become more and more cloudy. Eventually, your vision will be affected. At advanced stages, looking through cataract-clouded lenses is often compared to looking through a perpetually dirty window.

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

How do cataracts form?

The lens in our eye is where cataracts form. The lens is positioned behind the colored part of your eye, the iris. The lens focuses light that passes into your eye, producing clear, sharp images on the retina, the light-sensitive membrane on the back of the eye that functions kind of like film in a camera.

As we age, our lenses become less flexible (the cause of presbyopia), less transparent, and thicker. Aging, sun exposure, and other issues cause tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, causing clouding. This is the beginning of a cataract. This increases and the clouding becomes denser and covers more of the lens. Now vision starts to become impacted. This is the time for cataract surgery.

Do you have signs of cataracts? Call us at Millennium Park Eye Center and let’s get your clear vision back, (312) 996-2020.


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