The Most Common Cataract Symptoms

Cataract symptoms can include blurry vision and halo effect around bright lights like headlights, lightbulbs, and streetlights

Cataracts are a serious eye condition affecting millions. At The Eye Center, we encounter various eye conditions daily, and many of them include cataracts. There are often misconceptions about cataracts, what causes them, and how to proceed with eye care beyond a diagnosis. To help get rid of those misconceptions, we’ve outlined some important information below.

Understanding Cataracts

A cataract is a cloudy area in the eye’s lens that makes your vision blurry and colorless. The effect is sort of like looking through a smudged window. Cataracts form when the proteins in the lens of the eyes break down.

As the breakdown occurs, it can go unnoticed because it typically progresses slowly. Your eyeglass prescription may change frequently at first. You may also experience difficulty seeing at night and increased sensitivity to bright lights. Additionally, you may perceive two of everything.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports aging as the most common cause of cataracts. People over the age of 60 will usually start to have clouding of their lenses.

Risk Factors for Cataracts

Common elements that can contribute to the development and progression of cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Genetics
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Ultraviolent light

Regular eye exams are critical for early detection, managing progression, and preventing further vision deterioration. Managing chronic health conditions and maintaining a healthy diet is also essential.

The Most Common Cataract Symptoms We See in our North Alabama Office

Let’s dive deeper into the symptoms of cataracts, particularly those that are most common in our Huntsville and Madison locations:

  • Blurred vision – A typical early sign. Vision appears foggy or hazy.
  • Sensitivity to light – The lens’s inability to properly filter light causes glare and discomfort when exposed to bright lights.
  • Difficulty with night vision – Headlight glare, blurry vision, and trouble with light reaching the eye lenses lead to reduced night vision.
  • Faded colors and yellowing vision – The eyes depend on light to distinguish colors. Cataracts block light, diminishing vision acuity and making colors appear yellowish or washed out.
  • Double vision – Hazy and blurred vision may cause double vision if cataracts affect one eye more than the other.
  • Halos around lights – Cataracts scatter light entering the lens, creating a halo effect around bright lights like headlights, lightbulbs, and streetlights.

Steps You Can Take to Manage the Impact of Cataracts:

  • Wear anti-glare prescription glasses
  • Keep glasses clean
  • Drive slower when driving at night
  • Dim interior lights
  • Slow down when driving
  • Increase follow distance when driving
  • Cataract surgery

When to Seek Professional Help for Cataracts

You should see an eye care professional promptly upon noticing a change in your vision. Cataracts harm your quality of life, but effective treatment options are available to counteract the damage. One option is cataract eye surgery, which removes cataracts’ cloudy lens and restores clearer vision with an artificial lens. New cataract surgery tools and techniques allow quick recovery without hospital stay or pain.

If your vision has changed, make an appointment for an eye exam at The Eye Center in Huntsville or Madison. Call (256) 705-3937. Your eye doctor will guide you through the best options for personalized and professional care for your eye health.

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