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Nobody likes to talk about problems with their eyes. But if your vision has become cloudy or things you see are not as bright as they used to be, a cataract may have developed in one or both of your eyes and you need to take immediate action. That action involves a simple dilated eye exam. Dr. Long would like an opportunity to examine your eyes and discuss results of the examination and possible treatment options if necessary.

A cataract is a clouding of the eyes naturally clear lens. Your eye becomes like a window that is frosted or yellowed. The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present.

There are many misconceptions about cataracts. Often times it is best discussed in terms of what it isn't, in order to understand it better.

A cataract is not:

A growth or film over the eye
A cause of irreversible blindness
A result of overusing the eyes
A contagious disease spread from eye to eye or person to person

Now that your mind is at ease, let's discuss cataracts in general. Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, especially as we age, but they are treatable. Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D. like Dr. Long) can tell you whether cataract or some other problem is the cause of your vision loss and can help you decide if cataract surgery is appropriate for you.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cataracts?

The only way to know if you have cataracts for certain, is when your ophthalmologist (Dr. Long M.D.) does a dilated eye exam. Get a baseline exam at age 40, when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. Dr. Long will let you know how often you should return for follow-up exams. At any point, if you have symptoms or risks for eye disease, see your Eye M.D. and ask questions. Because your risk for cataracts and other eye diseases increases as you get older, starting at age 65 you should see your Eye M.D. every year. A complete eye examination will rule out any other condition that may be causing blurred vision or eye problems.Dulled or yellowed vision, distortion and ghost images are some issues that could be discussed.

Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. As a result, you may not immediately notice changes in your vision when cataracts first develop.

Over time, you may have symptoms listed below:

Painless clouded, blurry or dim vision;
Increasing difficulty seeing at night or in low light;
Sensitivity to light and glare, seeing halos around lights;
Colors seem faded or yellowed;
The need for brighter light for reading and other activities;
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription; or
Double vision within one eye.

If you think you have any of these symptoms, give us a call right now at (903) 892-2020. Dr. Long is conveniently located in Grayson county here in Sherman and serves the entire North Texas community. A qualified member of our staff will schedule a dilated examination with Dr. Long, and you can put any fears you have to rest. Trust the best for your eyes. Call us right now!

Last reviewed and updated in March 2010, by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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