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Symptoms of Cataracts

As a cataract develops, you may or may not notice changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to develop slowly, so vision gets worse gradually. Because the change is gradual, many people do not realize that they are losing vision. Some people with a cataract find that their close-up vision improves as the cataract matures, but this is just temporary. Vision worsens as the cataract matures.

Symptoms may include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Poor contrast
  • Poor night vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Double or multiple vision (this symptom often goes away as the cataract matures)
  • Increased nearsightedness, requiring frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Colors seem faded or images appear with a yellow tint
  • Problems with light, including:
    • Headlights that seem too bright at night
    • Glare from lamps or very bright sunlight
    • A halo around lights
    • Trying to read in bright light
    • Problems when moving from a dark area to a bright area
  • Acute glaucoma attack (rare)

These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, see your ophthalmologist immediately.

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References:

Cataract. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/cataract?sso=y. Accessed May 10, 2017.
Cataracts. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/health/cataracts-2. Updated November 20, 2015. Accessed May 10, 2017.
Cataracts in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116240/Cataracts-in-adults. Updated November 28, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2017.
Facts about cataract. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts. Updated September 2015. Accessed May 10, 2017.
What are cataracts? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts. Updated November 15, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2017.
What is a cataract? NIH Senior Health website. Available at: https://nihseniorhealth.gov/cataract/whatisacataract/01.html. Updated January 2013. Accessed May 10, 2017.
Last reviewed May 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014

 

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