What to Look for When You Think You Might Have Cataracts
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision problems in people over age 40 and are a leading cause of blindness. However, they develop slowly, so there's time to detect and treat them before they do serious damage. Here are ten early symptoms of cataracts to pay attention to.
#1: Blurry or Fuzzy Vision
One of the most common initial symptoms of cataracts is blurry or fuzzy vision. Your close-up vision may be affected first and can get progressively worse. You may have difficulty reading or doing other close work, such as knitting. Wearing glasses or contact lenses may help for a while, but eventually, you won't be able to get the level of sharpness needed even with prescription lenses. Generally, this is one of the key symptoms that bring people in for an eye exam.
It's important you get a comprehensive eye exam because blurry vision is also a common symptom of other eye conditions that require treatment, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Don’t delay making an appointment with your eye doctor if you experience any changes in your ability to see up closer.
#2: Colors Seem Faded
If you notice that colors aren't as bright as they used to be, it could be a sign of cataracts. This symptom may be noticed when looking at a vibrant blue sky or other bright colors, but because the changes in your vision happen gradually, some people don’t realize how much color they’ve lost until after their cataracts procedure. Then, many patients are surprised how much brighter colors appear, and wish they had treated their cataracts sooner.
#3: Poor Night Vision
Another early symptom of cataracts is poor night vision. You may have difficulty seeing at dusk or in the dark. This can make driving at night more difficult and dangerous.
If you have trouble seeing when it's not bright outside, schedule an eye examination to rule out any potential risk of early cataracts.
#4: Double Vision
Cataracts can also cause double vision in one eye. This happens when the cataract interferes with the eye's normal focusing process. Double vision caused by cataracts usually disappears when the affected eye is closed.
If you experience double vision, be sure to mention it to your eye doctor during your next visit.
#5: Frequent Changes in Eyeglass or Contact Lens Prescription
If you find that you need to change your eyeglass or contact lens prescription frequently, it could be a sign of cataracts. This is because the cataract can cause the eye's focusing power to change.
An eye exam may reveal whether cataracts are to blame if you're having trouble seeing. Sometimes, the culprit is just age-related vision loss, but it is crucial to double check because cataracts can be corrected and restore your vision.
#6: Glare and Halos
Glare is when bright light from headlights, sunlight, or lamps bothers your eyes. It can make it difficult to see. You may also notice halos—bright circles of light around headlights—when driving at night.. This can be scary because it makes driving at night more dangerous.
These symptoms are caused by how cataracts scatter light as it enters the eye. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce glare and halos, but it will not fix the real problem. That’s why you should make an appointment to have your cataracts evaluated. One of the biggest benefits post-surgery cataract patients report is that their improved vision lets them get back to the activities they love.
#7: Poor Depth Perception
Cataracts can also interfere with your depth perception. This may cause you to trip or stumble more often. Poor depth perception can also make it difficult to judge distances when driving.
If you have trouble with depth perception, be extra careful when walking, especially on stairs, and avoid driving if possible.
#8: Frequent Eye Strain
If your eyes feel tired or strained more often than usual, it could be a sign of cataracts. You may also experience headaches or neck pain from the increased eye strain.
If you're having trouble seeing and your eyes feel strained, an eye exam can reveal whether cataracts are to blame.
#9: Swelling or Redness in the Eye
Cataracts can also cause swelling or redness in the eye. This is usually a sign of inflammation in the eye and should be treated by a doctor immediately.
If you experience any swelling or redness in your eye, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away. This could also be a symptom of another serious eye condition, such as uveitis.
#10: Pain in the Eye
Eye pain is another symptom of cataracts, although it is not as common as other symptoms. If you experience any pain in your eye, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Cataracts usually develop slowly and don't cause any pain. If you experience pain in your eye, it could signify another serious eye condition.
Cataract Treatment in Dallas, Texas
At Key-Whitman Eye Center, our team of board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists is experienced in diagnosing and treating cataracts. We offer the latest technology and techniques for cataract surgery, including laser-assisted cataract surgery. If you're experiencing any symptoms of cataracts, schedule an appointment with us today.