A cataract is an eye condition characterized by a cloudy area forming on an eye’s natural lens, which blurs vision. This can affect your ability to read, drive, or carry out other routine tasks. Cataract surgery is a procedure that corrects cataracts by replacing the cloudy lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
Signs of Cataracts
Eyes work by allowing images into them and focusing the images in the retina. As you age, proteins in your eye’s lens may break down to form cloudy patches that prevent you from seeing things clearly. This often results in specific eye-related signs and symptoms. Here are five signs that you may have cataracts and need cataract surgery:
1. Blurry Vision
Blurry vision is one of the most noticeable signs of cataracts. Your eyesight can be cloudy, foggy, or filmy. If you notice that your once-sharp vision is comparable to looking through a foggy window, you might be dealing with cataracts. Cataracts start small and get larger over time, so pay attention to a gradual decline in vision clarity.
2. Difficulty Seeing at Night
While night blindness can be attributed to many causes, cataracts are a primary cause. They cause the vision to dim, resulting in trouble seeing in low-light conditions. At night, cataracts can also make you experience halos around lights or glare from other vehicle’s headlights when driving. If you are having difficulty seeing at night, an experienced ophthalmologist can diagnose the underlying issues and offer a personalized treatment plan.
3. Light Sensitivity
Light sensitivity, or photophobia, is an eye condition in which bright light causes discomfort or sometimes pain. Cataracts obstruct light from entering the eye, which can lead to sudden light sensitivity. If you have recently begun squinting and shielding your eyes from bright lights or find sunlight bothersome, it could be an indication of developing cataracts.
4. Double Vision
Double vision, or diplopia, is often caused by eye alignment or muscle problems, but it is also commonly caused by cataracts. In the early stages, the clouding of an eye lens can cause objects to overlap or duplicate. If you see two images of a single object, visit your eye care doctor to have your eyes checked.
5. Dulling of Colors
Since cataracts often dim vision, they can cause even vivid colors to appear dull or faded. They may also negatively affect contrast sensitivity. In extreme cases, they can make it difficult to differentiate between darker colors, such as blue and purple. If your ability to perceive colors has declined, it might be time to see a healthcare professional.
Cataract Surgery: A Path to Regaining Vision Clarity
Cataracts can affect your vision, making tasks like reading, driving, using electronic devices, and performing tasks that require close-up vision challenging. Knowing the signs of cataracts can help you act early to preserve your eye health. If you have a cataract that is impeding your ability to perform daily tasks, you may require cataract surgery. Contact an ophthalmologist to evaluate your condition and tailor treatment to your situation.