How Can Age Affect Your Vision?

Cataracts ~

Most of us worry about aging and how it effects our bodies. Cataracts is a progressive condition that appears slowly often leaving no symptoms. Generally symptoms don’t occur until the cataracts has progressed enough to disturb your vision. Cataracts is a natural slow clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Most commonly the treatment for this condition is Cataracts surgery a procedure that is routinely performed and can have a relatively easy recovery. 
Generally Cataracts is found during a routine exam, however some people can get symptoms early, below are a few:

  • ·         Colors are fading or yellowing
  • ·         Inability to read without bright light
  • ·         Very poor vision at night
  • ·         Halo vision – visibility of halo around lights, lamp and bright sunlight
  • ·         At night the headlights seem to be too bright
  • ·         Blurry vision
  • ·         Cloudy vision
  • ·         Double vision .

While these symptoms are often those symptoms of other eye conditions if you have any reporting them to your eye care professionals with help you get the proper diagnosis. Though it could be something common or less serious any eye changes can indicate problems in your physical health or vision.
Cataracts are identified by a series of tests:
There are several tests that maybe performed to diagnosis Cataracts your eye care professional can help determine a Cataracts diagnosis on most routine eye exams.  Cataracts development differs between people.
A few tests are:

  • Pupil dilation to assess the lens
  • Visual Acuity testing
  • Measuring eye prescription
  • Slit-lamp microscope

Age-related cataract, develop over a long period, usually noted between the ages of 65-85. However it can happen to those early in life, including those who have Diabetes. Diabetes can increase the rate in which the Cataracts develop. An eye exam every year is very important to keep top quality of vision.

Cataracts & Macular Degeneration

There are several people suffering from both Cataracts and Macular Degeneration today. Both conditions are degenerative to the eye and can cause severe visual loss. Their only real difference is what visual areas are affected by each condition.


In Cataracts the vision is affected slowly over time as the internal lens becomes cloudy. In some cases of Cataracts the vision can decline quickly over six months to a year.


 Blurred Vision
 Increased trouble with night vision
 Increased sensitivity to light
 Halos or Spots
 Double Vision
 Difficulty reading paperwork even with reading glasses
 Decline in brightness of colors

Macular Degeneration:

Macular Degeneration is also a progressive condition generally affecting those who are 50 plus. The most common form is Age-related Macular Degeneration [or AMD]. This condition affects the area of the retina that controls the central vision field or the macula. The Macula covers 2.1 % of the retina. It controls your ability to recognize faces, separate dark from light colors, etc.


 Visual acuity drastically decreasing
 Blurred vision
 Usual shadows or missing areas within vision

Exam findings:

 Drusen
 Pigmentary Atecutions
 Exudative changes, hemorrhages in eye
 Atrophy Incipient and geographic

Having one of the above conditions can be managed with proper care. However, not having regular eye exams can pose problems later as they work to interrupt vision. This can cause a severe decline of vision and can lead to severe vision loss.

Our eyes need help as we age and making sure that you take care of them and get a yearly eye exam will ensure your vision stays with you.

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Discovering the Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts is a condition many of us know all to well, you probably have a parent or grandparent that experienced this condition in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. If we all live long enough we will eventually develop cataracts, it is almost a badge of a life lived long.

However understanding the impact it has on your vision and that there is help is something that is misunderstood. Cataracts can affect people for many different reasons. Knowing the symptoms of the condition will assist with early detection and in many cases save your vision.

Symptoms of Cataracts:

  • Poor night vision
  • Increasing light to read
  • Fading colors or yellows
  • Glare
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Painless blurred vision

Cataracts affects each person differently and though in age-related cases cataracts generally progresses slowly; those with diabetes might notice them develop very rapidly. Though the myth is that cataracts is a slow progressive condition no one really can determine how fast it will progress from one person to the next. The best advice is to get checked regularly and if you are a diabetic being examined yearly is very important.

Risk Factors for Cataracts:

Though most of us think Cataracts is an age related condition there are many other ways you can be affected by cataracts. There are many risk factors for Cataracts including Diabetes, eye trauma, and family history. Making sure you are getting your annual check-ups will help you with early detection of the condition.

Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in eye care treatments, and other procedures.

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