primary eye care

7 Ways To Know You Have Cataracts

July 30th, 2020

Older couple hiking with cataracts

As you get older, your risk for developing cataracts only becomes more likely. Eventually, you will have to deal with them.

It’s almost inevitable that you will develop one. Most cataracts progress quite slowly.

Knowing that you have them early in their development is very helpful. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, cataracts could be to blame. Keep reading for 7 ways to know you have cataracts!

1. Vision Loss

The primary symptom of having cataracts is experiencing vision loss. This occurs because as cataracts develop and mature inside of the lens, they block light from reaching the retina.

This only gets worse as they develop and get larger over time. The shadows that the cataracts cast on the retina represent a lack of information reaching the light sensitive tissue.

For many people with cataracts, this shows itself as blurry or clouded vision. It’s a lot like trying to look like a foggy or dirty window.

2. Glare

Not all cataracts are the same. While most begin forming in the middle of the lens and grow outwards, the reverse can happen.

These are called “cortical cataracts”, and they grow in wedges pointing in all around the perimeter of the lens like spokes on a bicycle wheel. As light enters the eye, it scatters off of these wedges and bounces around the interior of the eye, creating a fair amount of glare.

This can even be painful or uncomfortable to experience.

3. Difficulty Seeing at Night

Since cataracts affect your ability to see by blocking light, this is most noticeable in low light situations. If you are finding it difficult to drive at night, stop immediately and get your eyes checked.

It’s safer to find a friend or family member that can drive you around until you have cataract surgery.

4. Halos

Cataracts can cause some interesting vision aberrations to occur. Depending on the kind of cataract and how far along it is, halos may begin to appear around fixed points of light.

This may become particularly distracting while you’re driving.

5. Color Changes

Cataracts themselves are colored, which can affect the color of light that passes through them if they are not totally opaque. Everything may begin to appear to have an ugly yellowish-brown tint to it, which can drastically reduce contrast.

You may begin to see things that are white as being yellow, or even a muddy brown when you have cataracts.

6. Double Vision

Occasionally, cataracts may cause you to see double images in one eye. This experience is incredibly disorienting, but is one of the less common symptoms.

7. “Second Sight”

One interesting effect that can happen from cataracts is that your vision may slightly improve, if only temporarily. Second sight, as it is sometimes referred to as, occurs when the cataract causes the lens to swell up.

This will make your near vision improve. But as lucky as this might sound, it is not long lasting. The cataract will inevitably allow less light in as it becomes more opaque, causing vision loss.

Schedule an Appointment

The only true way to know that you have cataracts is to have them diagnosed by a professional. Set up a cataract screening with Vision Care of Maine in Bangor!

At your cataract screening, you can learn about cataracts, cataract surgery, and how to cope with vision loss until you can have them removed.

Search Our Website