Cataracts is the name given to the condition when the lens in your eye develops cloudy patches on its surface. These patches begin to get bigger over time, causing blurry vision, or misty vision, and eventually, they lead to blindness. It’s possible to develop cataracts in one or both of your eyes, and they won’t necessarily develop at the same pace.
They are very common in older adults. Cataracts won’t usually impair your vision all that much to start with, and their effects can be combatted through the use of glasses or the use of stronger lighting. However, as they get more severe the only way to treat them is through lens replacement surgery.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, they could be an indicator of cataracts, and it’s important that you consult with an eye doctor.
Clouded or blurred vision
One of the most common signs of cataracts is clouded or blurred vision. This means that instead of seeing everything with sharp definition, it seems blurred as though you are looking through a lens that isn’t quite in focus. It’s possible to get blurred vision across your whole vision, just in your peripheral vision or just in other parts of your vision. You may also notice that it’s only impacting one eye.
Cataracts are a common cause of clouded vision, but they aren’t the only thing that causes it. Some of the other possible causes of cloudy vision are:
- Nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. These problems can usually be corrected with glasses.
- Age-related macular degeneration.
- Trauma or eye injury.
- Fluctuating blood sugar levels (for people with diabetes).
If your blurred vision comes on suddenly and is accompanied by a severe headache, difficulty speaking, difficulty moving the muscles on one side of your body or facial drooping then you should seek emergency medical attention, as these are the symptoms of a stroke.
Difficulty with vision at night
The reason that you can see is that light is able to enter the eye. Cataracts mean that light can’t enter the eye as easily, and so more light is needed in order to see clearly. This is why people with cataracts often have more difficulty with their vision at night when there is less light.
Cataracts may affect your contrast vision and the way that you see colors. You may notice over time that colors start to become more faded and that your vision may start to take on a brownish or yellowish tinge. Cataract surgeons are able to correct the effects of cataract by performing surgery to remove the cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with a clear one.
Difficulty performing up-close tasks
Performing close-up tasks such as model building, sewing, or knitting requires a lot of light to be able to get into the eye to allow you to see the object you are working with. Cataracts limit the amount of light that can get into the eye, and so if you are developing cataracts you may find that it’s more difficult to see as you are performing intricate, close-up tasks.