A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. When clear and healthy, your eye has no problem collecting visual data. When cataracts begin to develop, they impair the eye's ability to see clearly. In the beginning, symptoms are difficult to notice. It appears sporadically, without any schedule or frequency. You'll get red eyes more and more often, and then things will be blurrier than ever. When they become more advanced, the lens will turn "milky" in color and transparency. In their most advanced stage, the risk of full blindness is high. Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness in the world.
Cataracts cause many changes in your eyes, but perhaps the most evident one is discoloration. Less severe cases manifest through yellow shades, while the most severe cases are brown. This discoloration is already a sign that the cataract is progressing further. If you don't act on it, the color will become darker, and your vision will become more impaired over time.
As your vision gets cloudy, your ocular nerves will have to invest more energy towards seeing. Due to this, they will become less and less capable of putting up with strong light sources. If you have progressed to this stage you will find bright light very uncomfortable.
Cataracts can present themselves in different ways. A cataract can make it difficult to differentiate between objects that are near or far. Everything will be cloudy, and shapes will become difficult to tell apart. Cloudy vision is a symptom exclusive to cataracts.
Typically, wearing glasses or contact lenses will correct near- or far-sightedness and allow you to see clearly. But with cataract, it is futile to wear glasses. If your vision gets worse soon after just getting a stronger pair of glasses, you should be worried.
This symptom is tricky because it can actually get better as the cataract becomes worse. In the beginning, you might experience two items in one of your eyes, but not the other. It will become more defined for some time until the eye gets used to the damaged lens. Later, it stops registering the double objects. Seeing double is always a serious symptom, and noticing it in time may end up being a lifesaver.
Driving at night is always tough; the streets are dark, the headlights are bright, and the chance of encountering dangerous drivers is high. Now, add vision loss to these problems. You might be putting yourself and others in danger. People think this is a normal sign of aging, but that is not always the case.
Although looking out on a bright day is already uncomfortable, with cataracts, it is downright painful. It seriously influences the way you plan and go about your day.
You will know that a cataract is advancing if normal colors have a yellowish or brownish hue when you look at them. This a result of the lens getting damaged and your ocular nerve being unable to register the right colors.
Because the lens gets damaged, you may experience a permanent glaze. It won't go away, and it will become gradually worse with time. It can feel like a transparent layer of fabric covering your eyeballs. It gets annoying as it affects depth perception and makes concentration difficult. A side effect of this symptom is eye strain. Migraines may ensue if you ignore the problem for too long.
Nearsightedness is how most cataracts get discovered. Ophthalmologists will discover the cataract during routine checkups. This symptom tends to appear very early in the development of the condition. Keep in mind that while it is common, cataracts do not always result in nearsightedness, so don't rule anything out on this alone.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.