What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

How do you know if you have a cataract? Since they develop slowly, you may not notice any symptoms at first. 

As a cataract progresses, however, you can experience a range of symptoms. A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s lens. 

Cataracts are most common in people over the age of forty. At that age, proteins in your eye begin to break down. 

A cataract can also begin to develop earlier in life due to injury, a medical condition like diabetes, or certain medications, among other reasons. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms of cataracts!

1. Blurry Vision

The lens of your eye focuses light onto the back of your eye, where the retina is located. When the light is focused directly on your retina, your brain is able to create sharp images. 

In its normal state, the eye’s natural lens is transparent. When a cataract forms, the lens becomes clouded due to the breakdown of proteins. 

This cloudiness blocks light as it passes through. As a result, you may notice that images become blurry, whether they are close or far away. 

2. Glare and Halos

Cataracts can also cause you to experience glare and halos around bright lights. Glare occurs when a bright light overwhelms your visual field.

You may instinctively look away or squint. Halos appear as rings around light sources.

Many people first begin to notice glare and halos around headlights while driving at night.

3. Light Sensitivity

Everyone may want to shield their eyes from bright light, but when you have a cataract, you can be even more sensitive to light. Someone with cataracts may find that normal levels of light start to bother them. 

As a cataract continues to develop, light sensitivity can become more intense. 

4. Frequent Prescription Changes

Do you feel like your glasses or contacts aren’t helping you see as well as they once did? It’s normal for your prescription to change over the course of your life. 

However, if you find that you have to schedule more and more eye exams to update your prescription, it may be a sign of cataracts. A new prescription for glasses or contacts can be a temporary solution for the blurry vision caused by a cataract. 

As it progresses, though, your vision can keep worsening, making your current prescription ineffective. 

5. Difficulty Driving at Night

Because of the glare and halos that can occur with a cataract, many patients find that driving at night becomes difficult. Oncoming headlights are a particular source of discomfort and blurry vision. 

Traffic lights and the tail lights of cars in front of you can also appear hazy. Difficulty driving at night can be dangerous, as you are not able to perceive the objects around you clearly. 

If you find yourself avoiding nighttime driving because of your vision, you may have cataracts. 

6. Seeing Colors as Faded

Are colors not appearing as bright as they used to? This could also be a sign of a cataract. 

Cataracts can cause colors to appear faded or yellowed. A cataract can decrease contrast as well, so colors appear muddy. 

You may even have trouble distinguishing similar colors from each other. 

Are you experiencing any of these cataract symptoms? Schedule an appointment at Rosenthal Eye Surgery and Fifth Avenue EyeCare in Long Island, NY, today to determine whether you have a cataract, and how we can restore your clear vision.

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