Q: I was diagnosed as having a premature development of a cataract in my left eye. The symptoms were discomfort on a sunny day and a feeling that there was something in my eye. No pain, just something there. The ophthalmologist gave me a thorough exam and the diagnosis stated above. He said my right eye had the beginning of one, but it has not been noticed. Besides surgery, are there glasses I could wear or drops that would make it clearer? I also see halos around lights when driving at night. This has been causing me anxiety and of course a fear that it will progress quickly. What course of treatment should I take? The symptoms have been noticeable for about four weeks. .
Senile cataracts constitute most of the acquired cataracts, and they are characterized by progression of the opacities of the lens. In senile cataracts, opacities appear first in the periphery of the lens (incipient senile cataract), and vision remains unimpaired. The number of opacities then increases and they coalesce, resulting in a marked decrease in visual acuity (immature cataract). As the condition develops, all the layers of the lens become cloudy and it turns grayish white or mother-of-pearl; visual acuity decreases to photoperception—that is, the eye becomes virtually blind (mature senile cataract). Also acquired are complicated cataracts that arise in some systemic diseases (diabetes, cholera, digestive disorders) or result from diseases of the eye itself (inflammation of the uveal tract, progressive myopia). Cataracts resulting from eye injuries, effects of radiation, and so forth constitute a large group of acquired cataracts.