A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

What Happens if Cataracts are Left Untreated?

by Damion Wasylow 16 September 2022 11:22 AM

senior man pondering a question
More than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older have cataracts. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have experienced cataracts. It’s a condition that progresses over time, and one you should not ignore. 

Cataract Symptom Progression

Cataract symptoms may start off as a mild annoyance. You may notice slight cloudiness or blurry vision. Many people just put up with this at first, believing it’s just natural vision loss associated with age. Slowly but surely, however, symptoms progress, and can often lead to severe loss of vision and even potential blindness.

4 Stages of Cataracts

You'll go through four main stages of cataracts:

  1. Early: When cataracts first occur, the lens will still be clear. However, you’ll experience difficulty changing focus between near and far vision. Many people will start to see cloudiness or blurring. You may notice that light glares bother you and night vision suffers.
  2. Immature: Proteins begin to cloud the eye lens, leading to the lens becoming opaque in the center. During this stage, new prescription eyeglasses and even anti-glare lenses may help reduce symptoms.
  3. Mature: Your vision becomes “milky,” often casting a white or amber glaze over everything you see. The edges of the lens are greatly impacted at this point, and you’ll likely notice your quality of life decline. You may not any longer be able to confidently perform a variety of tasks.
  4. Hypermature: The milky film appearance in your vision is now very dense, potentially impairing vision to the point of blindness. Inflammation and pressure on the eye also increase, raising your risk of glaucoma.

Cataract Diagnosis and Treatment

Early cataract diagnosis through a comprehensive eye exam will enable you and your eye doctor to monitor the condition. Eventually, all cataracts require surgery to correct.  

Cataract surgery replaces the cataract-damaged lens with a new intraocular lens implant. When performed by a trained and experienced ophthalmologist, cataract surgery has one of the highest success rates of any surgical procedure.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, or if it’s just been too long since you had an eye exam, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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