As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and our eyes are no exception. One of the most common age-related eye conditions is cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision and impacting daily activities. While cataracts are easily treatable, prompt cataract surgery is often necessary to restore clear vision and improve overall quality of life.
So what is the first sign of cataracts? In this article, we will discuss some common cataract symptoms that may indicate the need for cataract surgery.
Signs of cataracts
One of the earliest symptoms of cataracts is a gradual blurring of vision. If you find it increasingly difficult to read, drive, or perform other tasks that require clear vision, it may be an indication of a developing cataract.
In advanced cases, cataracts can cause significant vision loss, making it difficult to see clearly even with corrective lenses.
Cataracts can cause colours to appear faded or yellowed. You may notice that objects lose their vibrancy, and everyday activities such as choosing clothes or identifying traffic signals become more challenging.
Sensitivity to Light
Those with cataracts often experience heightened sensitivity to bright lights or sunlight. Glare from headlights while driving at night can be particularly bothersome and may indicate the need for surgery.
Difficulty with Night Vision
Night vision problems are common among individuals with cataracts. If you find it increasingly hard to see in low-light conditions or notice halos around lights, it may be an indication that cataract surgery is necessary.
Frequent Prescription Changes
If you frequently require changes to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription, it could be a sign of progressive cataracts. In such cases, cataract surgery may be the best long-term solution.
Frequently changing spectacle prescriptions are a sign of cataracts
Cataracts can cause double vision or ghosting, making it difficult to distinguish between objects or read clearly. This symptom may worsen over time and interfere with daily activities.
Reduced Contrast Sensitivity
Cataracts can affect contrast sensitivity, making it harder to discern differences between shades of colour or distinguish objects from their background. This can significantly impact driving, reading, and other visual tasks.
Poor Depth Perception
Cataracts can diminish depth perception, making it difficult to judge distances accurately. This can be particularly hazardous while driving or navigating stairs.
Increased Eye Fatigue
Strained or tired eyes are common symptoms of cataracts. If you experience eye fatigue more frequently, even after periods of rest, it could be an indication of a growing cataract.
Difficulty with Reading
Cataracts can make reading challenging due to blurred or distorted vision. If you find yourself frequently adjusting reading materials or experiencing eyestrain while reading, it could mean the onset of a cataract.
Impaired Peripheral Vision
As cataracts progress, they can restrict your peripheral vision. You may notice a narrowing of your visual field, making it harder to see objects or people to the side.
Persistent headaches can be a result of straining to see clearly through cataracts. If you notice an increase in headaches, especially after visual tasks, it is advisable to seek a professional evaluation.
Difficulty with Activities
Quite often cataracts can begin to interfere with your ability to perform daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning, or even hobbies you once enjoyed.
It’s important to note that the severity and progression of cataracts can vary among individuals, and not everyone may experience all of these symptoms. If you notice any changes in your vision or have concerns about the health of your eyes, it is always advisable to consult with an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a thorough evaluation.
Remember, early detection and prompt treatment through cataract surgery can help restore clear vision and improve your overall visual function, ultimately enhancing your quality of life.
At Optegra we offer a range of treatments to help remove your cataracts. If you’re an NHS patient, you can request a referral to have your cataract treated at your local Optegra eye hospital. We also have enhanced and advanced cataract surgery treatment options for those who would like to reduce reliance on glasses while having their cataract removed.
Contact us for more information on how we can help.
By Author: Amir Hamid
Mr. Amir Hamid is a Clinical Lead for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.