Cataracts are something that everyone will experience as they get older. But if you’ve never had a cataract, how do you know what the warning signs of a cataract are? Keep reading for 8 cataract warning signs to watch out for!
1. Blurry vision
When you have cataracts, one of the most common symptoms is blurry vision. This occurs because the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy and harder to see through.
Proteins in the lens, which are normally separate from each other, begin to clump together in the center of the lens. Over time, this clouding of the lens takes over more and of the lens, resulting in blurry vision.
For people with cataracts, it’s a lot like trying to look through a foggy or dirty window. This only gets worse the longer you have cataracts.
2. Having double vision
Another disconcerting warning sign of having cataracts is if you experience double vision. When you have double vision with a cataract, you may experience images appearing as a “double” of themselves with only one eye open.
This is different from the double vision that occurs when your eyes don’t line up properly. If you have double vision only in one eye, this is a distinct sign of cataracts.
Talk to your eye doctor about the possibility of a cataract screening if you experience this or another warning sign.
3. Injuring yourself falling because you can’t see
Falling down a lot is just part of getting older, right? Not quite. If you find yourself falling and getting injured frequently, it could be because of cataracts making it harder to see.
The thing about cataracts that many people don’t realize is they can take years or decades to develop. You could begin developing a cataract as early as your forties or fifties!
Though they can develop early on, that doesn’t mean you need surgery right away. You should, however, consider cataract surgery if you have suffered an injury and find out you have a cataract that’s making it harder to see.
4. Your vision seems more yellow or brown than normal
Does the world around you seem a little less bright? Are flowers less vibrant, colors muddier, or things just look tinted yellow or brown?
It’s not your imagination! When you have cataracts, your vision can seem more yellow or brown than normal.
This is due to the actual cataract. The proteins that make up a cataract that cloud the eye’s lens may turn yellow or brown as the cataract develops.
As a result, you may see the world as more muted, yellow, or brown-tinted because of your cataract. The good news? Once you have cataract surgery, the world will go back to its colorful, beautiful, multifaceted self!
5. Driving at night becomes harder and harder
To drive at night, seeing well is necessary. But when you have cataracts, this task suddenly becomes a lot harder.
With cataracts, driving at night can cause glare, light sensitivity, and a general feeling of anxiousness. What’s going on?
Driving with cataracts at night can cause you to see halos and glare. This can occur as a result of streetlights, headlights, and any oncoming traffic.
The last thing you want to deal with when you’re driving at night is any kind of light sensitivity, but that’s exactly what happens when you drive with cataracts. If you feel unsafe driving at night, it’s best to stop and find a friend or family member that can drive you where you need to go instead.
6. Noticing your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription frequently changes
Seeing your eye doctor once a year for a new prescription is normal. What’s not normal is seeing them on a frequent basis because your glasses or contact lens prescription has changed yet again.
If you feel like you see your eye doctor more than your spouse or your friends, this is something that should cause you concern. A constantly changing prescription is a common sign that you could have cataracts.
When you need to get a stronger and stronger prescription, it’s a problem that will probably only get worse, not better. In some cases, it may not be cataracts, but it could be another eye condition that requires treatment.
To be safe, see your eye doctor so you can find out what is causing your prescription to fluctuate.
7. Seeing halos around light sources
If lights seem brighter or like they’ve suddenly become less clear, this is another sign that you could have cataracts. Seeing halos and glare around light sources is annoying, but it can also become dangerous!
Glare and halos can distract you while you’re driving, especially if you’re driving at night and your vision is already obstructed. Glare and halos can cause other problems, like making you accidentally miss a step while you’re climbing up the stairs, leading to injury.
If you ever feel like glare and halos have appeared out of nowhere, let your eye doctor know. Any sudden changes in vision are abnormal and should be checked out for your safety.
8. You experience light sensitivity that doesn’t get better over time
Light sensitivity is another warning sign of cataracts. It also goes hand in hand with seeing glare and halos.
The difference is that with light sensitivity, bright lights start to become painful. You may also find that you need more light to complete everyday tasks.
This could be anything like reading a book, sewing, preparing dinner, or doing laundry. Most people think that if they use more light, it will be fine.
But at a certain point with cataracts, it doesn’t matter how much light you use, and performing these tasks will become almost impossible. The bottom line with cataracts is you should consider cataract surgery when your cataracts severely impede your life.
If you can no longer take part in many of your favorite hobbies because of your impaired vision, you should consider cataract surgery as the next logical step.
Recognize a few of these cataract warning signs as things that you or a loved one has experienced? Schedule a cataract screening at See Clearly Vision in Arlington or Tysons Corner!