A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the eye and leads to your vision being affected. The lens functions to focus light on the retina and once clouded can no longer focus properly causing vision issues.
Since most cataracts are associated with aging, it is usually seen among older people. In the United States, more than 50% of individuals by the age of 80 years old either have a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery. The word ‘aging’ may be misleading as cataracts not only occur in the elderly but can start affecting people who are in their 40s or 50s. However, at this age, the cataract is still small and has yet to affect vision. In some special cases, it may also affect infants and young children. A cataract can occur in one or both eyes but does not spread from one to the other. It is not contagious and occurs when the protein in the lens clumps together and cloud an area of the lens. This eventually becomes larger and makes it harder for the affected individual to see.
Symptom #1: Changes In Color
Having a cataract may cause some color changes in the affected eye where it may start to look yellowish or light brown. This occurs due to the clumping of protein in the lens and causing the lens to cloud. The light that enters the eye is therefore perceived in a different hue.
Patients have described the color change as comparable to wearing sunglasses that blocks violet and blue lights. In more severe or advanced cases, the lens turns a milky color. If left untreated, the vision of the affected individual can be reduced to only being able to distinguish between light and dark. Corrective surgery is required in the management of cataract.