A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Warning Signs of Cataracts

by dwasylow 12 November 2013 04:00 AM

Like so many diseases, few people know the warning signs of cataracts, or what to do about them. Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye. They prevent light from passing through the lens (or lenses if both eyes are affected) and, as they become progressively worse, can make the patient’s vision similar to looking through frosted glass.

Below are symptoms that may indicate you are developing cataracts.

Cloudy or blurred vision

Cataracts start off small, so only a minimal area of your vision is initially impacted. You may occasionally look a specific direction and notice a blurred spot. It’s fairly common for patients to brush off these early signs. That clouded area will eventually grow, however, and overtake your full vision.

Lens discoloration

Cataracts cause a discoloration of the lens that result in patients beginning to notice that colors aren’t as bright as they once were. It’s like looking at life through a yellow or brownish film. Blues and purples are especially hard for the patient to distinguish as cataracts progress.

Light sensitivity, glare and halos

Cataracts can cause sunlight and lamps to seem uncomfortably bright. They can also cause patients to see glare around these light sources. When driving at night, a person developing cataracts will often see halos around the headlights of oncoming traffic.

Double vision

Double vision in one eye is common in cataract patients. Oddly enough, this may improve as the cataract grows larger and covers a larger portion of the lens’s surface. This is a dangerous symptom because it can throw off a person’s balance, so it should be checked out immediately.

Temporarily improved near vision

As strange as it may sound, some farsighted patients experience short-term vision improvement due to the impact cataracts have on the shape of the lens. They may even be able to read without the assistance of glasses for a short time. The improvement is only temporary, however.

Changes in vision

As pointed out above, cataracts can dramatically change your vision as they progress. As a result, patients developing cataracts frequently need changes to their eyewear prescriptions. A trained optometrist or ophthalmologist should be able to quickly recognize this issue in a patient.          

Presence of the symptoms above – individually or in combination – does not necessarily mean a patient has cataracts. Some symptoms can result from other eye diseases. Contact Gainesville Eye Physicians and Optical for a comprehensive exam, diagnosis and treatment plan.

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