A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. In most cases, cataracts develop slowly and may not significantly affect eyesight. However, if left untreated, they can quickly begin impacting vision and may even cause blindness. If cataracts are detected in the early stages, adequate measures can be taken to prevent worsening of the condition. For this reason, it is helpful to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with cataracts. Some signs of cataracts include:
Blurred Vision – The cloudy film that develops over the lens causes a gradual blurring of one’s vision. This blurring of eyesight cannot be corrected by the using of eyeglasses or artificial lenses.
Difficulty Seeing at Night – Those with cataracts tend to have difficulty seeing things in low light, and especially during night time.
Sensitivity to Light – During the very early stages of cataract development, many patients notice their eyes become increasingly sensitive to light, particularly harsh, bright light.
Halos around Light – The presence of the cloudy film on the lens sometimes causes diffraction of light that enters the eye. This causes luminescent halos, often in different colors, to appear when viewing sources of light.
Change in Color Perception – As a cataract advances, the protein that forms the cloudy film on the lens may turn yellow or brown. This may cause light entering the eye to be perceived as an altered hue.
Double Vision in One Eye – A common symptom of the early stages of a cataract is double vision in one eye. Not every cataract patient experiences this symptom, only those suffering from a particular type of cataract. Also, several other eye conditions may cause double vision, but a cataract is amongst the few which causes it only in one eye.
Frequently Needing Stronger Glasses – If you find that you frequently need to increase your contact or glasses strength, this could be an indication that you have cataracts. Rapidly changing eyes could be signs of other conditions as well. Whether it is cataracts or something else, it is important to see a doctor if your prescription needs are frequently changing.
Ultimately, having cataracts may interfere with your ability to carry out simple everyday activities and without treatment, cataracts may lead to permanent blindness. If you experience any of these signs of cataracts or other visual changes, contact Tidewater Eye Centers at 757-483-0400 or tidewatereye.com to schedule an examination with one of our doctors.