Can You See Cataracts in the Mirror?

Cataracts are not always visible. Can you see them in the mirror? It’s not likely. Cataracts actually take years to develop. In the early stages, people don’t even have symptoms. At the later stages, when you look in the mirror, you might see a milky white covering over the pupil. At Elmquist Eye Group, we can perform a comprehensive eye exam to tell you whether you have a cataract and if so, how advanced it is.

A Natural Part of Aging

Can You See Cataracts in the Mirror?

The older you become, the more susceptible you are to cataracts. About 25 million Americans over age 40 have some form of cataract. Aging is the primary cause, but UV exposure is also a factor. Smokers, diabetics and people with hypertension are more prone to developing cataracts.

Types of Cataracts

There are several different types of cataracts. The most common type is called a nuclear sclerotic cataract, characterized by a hardening and yellowing of the eye’s natural lens. Cortical cataracts include a white film that forms and affects the peripheral vision first, and a posterior subcapsular cataract occurs on the back of the lens and produces the familiar halo effect around lights, particularly at night.

Aside from having a blurry or foggy vision, cataracts can affect your vision in different ways. You may start seeing double. Colors won’t be as vibrant, and in some cases, your vision may have a yellow tint to it. Your night vision takes a severe hit when you develop cataracts. Because of impaired vision, you’ll need a lot of help doing everyday things like driving and reading.

Regardless of the type of cataract you have, when cataracts are left untreated, they lead to blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Surgery is eventually needed to remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

Cataract Symptoms

You will likely not be able to see or even feel your cataract, but there are some common symptoms, which include the following:

  • A painless blurring of vision
  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
  • Needing brighter light to read
  • Poor night vision
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

Cataracts can go undetected for years so it is very important to come into Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers or Cape Coral. We will perform a comprehensive vision exam and check you for cataracts. Remember that early detection is key, so come see us today.