7 Signs You Have Cataracts (and Might Need Treatment)

Aug 21, 2023

While the normal eye lens is supposed to be clear, a cataract clouds the lens, resulting in vision that looks similar to a fogged-up or frosty window. Having clouded vision can impede multiple aspects of everyday life, from reading and writing to driving a car. Although clouded vision is one symptom of cataracts, there are others that you should look out for.

If you think there is any chance you might be developing cataracts, talk to our experts, Dr. Beran and Dr. Weber, as soon as possible. For more information, read on!

What are the main symptoms of cataracts?

For most people, cataracts do not appear overnight. Instead, they slowly develop until they eventually interfere with your vision enough to make you notice. Here are some of the main symptoms of cataracts to look out for:

  1. Vision that is cloudy, dimmed, or blurry
  2. Sensitivity to bright lights and glares
  3. Seeing halos around lights
  4. Worsening nighttime vision
  5. Constant changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
  6. Fading or yellowing colors
  7. Double vision in one eye

It may be difficult to notice vision loss at first, as a cataract may only impact one small part of the eye’s lens. However, as it continues to grow and cover more of the lens, you will gradually become more aware of changes in your vision and how the cataract clouds and distorts light passing through the lens.

What are the causes of cataracts?

The primary cause of cataracts is aging—though injury to the eye is a close second. Protective fibers and proteins begin to break down when a trauma changes the tissues that make up the eye’s lens, resulting in hazy or cloudy vision. Some genetic disorders can make you more susceptible to cataracts. And some conditions like diabetes or long-term use of steroid medications can result in premature cataracts.

A cataract forms when a cloudy lens is positioned behind your iris (the colored part of your eye). As you age, the lens—which focuses light that produces images on the retina—becomes less transparent, less flexible, and thicker. This can cause those proteins and fibers to cloud the lenses by breaking down and clumping together. As cataracts develop, clouding becomes denser and scatters the light as it passes through the lens. This prevents sharply defined images from reaching the retina and results in that blurry, “cloudy” vision.

Prevention and treatment

Because cataracts are directly related with age, they are, for the most part, not preventable. However, the best way to detect cataracts is to attend regular eye examinations—especially as you reach an older age. Annual eye exams can help identify cataracts (as well as other problems) at the earliest stages. Lifestyle choices, such as healthy eating, quitting smoking, and managing other health problems as instructed by your doctor, can help prevent premature cataracts.

If you think you might have cataracts, come visit Dr. Beran or Dr. Weber to receive a formal diagnosis. They will need to perform a comprehensive examination, including dilation (which involves using eye drops to widen your pupils), to confirm the presence of cataracts. Once diagnosed, you can move on to treatment options. While you don’t have to remove cataracts right away, it is important that you and your ophthalmologist monitor them closely. The only way to actually remove cataracts is through surgery, during which your clouded lenses will be replaced by artificial ones called intraocular lenses (also called IOLs). This is an effective procedure that can improve vision and correct refractive errors.

No matter what you choose to do, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of cataracts, consider coming in to visit our experts. The faster you get a handle on your cataracts, the faster you’ll be able to take back control of your vision. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Columbus Laser and Cataract Center at 614-939-1600.