Cataracts and glaucoma are degenerative eye diseases that can cause permanent vision loss. Both diseases are a natural part of the aging process, but they have distinct symptoms. Perhaps you may notice that your vision is not as clear as it used to be, but do you have cataracts or glaucoma? Here is a brief overview of each eye disorder and some unique symptoms of both diseases.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which blocks or changes the entry of light into the eye. The lens of the eye is made of protein, but natural aging causes the protein to clump and this prevents light from passing through clearly. New cells form on the outside of the lens, but the old cells are pushed into the center which forms the cataract.
Glaucoma is a family of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve due to pressure buildup on the inside of the eye. The optic nerve transmits images to the brain, and if pressure is not alleviated, optic nerve damage can cause permanent blindness. There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma (most common) and closed-angle glaucoma.