As we age, most people experience vision changes that impact our ability to see and experience the world with clear vision. This can include cataracts, which are an extremely common side effect of aging.
While they are often mistaken for standard vision decline, cataracts commonly begin to develop in the eyes of individuals aged 40 and older.
Cataracts are treatable with surgery; once diagnosed by an eye doctor, cataract surgery can help to restore your eyesight and even correct underlying vision problems.
How do you know if you may have cataracts? Look out for the following signs:
One of the main symptoms of cataracts is blurry vision. Cataracts are often mistaken for presbyopia, another common symptom of aging. It becomes much more difficult to read or do other tasks that require fine focus.
However, those developing cataracts will find that vision aids like reading glasses will stop improving their sight, despite stronger prescriptions.
This is often a clear sign that cataracts are beginning to develop in the eyes.
Poor Night Vision
Cataracts can make it difficult to see in low light. One of the primary indications that cataracts are developing is the gradual loss of contrast sensitivity, which becomes especially noticeable in dim lighting.
This can heavily impact night vision, making activities like driving difficult or even dangerous. Having your cataract removed and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) can restore night vision and make it easier to see in low lighting once again.
If you ever feel unsafe while driving, it is important to get off the road and find alternate means of transportation.
Halos and Glare
If you have cataracts, you may start seeing halos around light sources and intense glare, which is caused by the cataract distorting light as it enters the eye. This can make seeing difficult when you need direct light to see certain objects.
It can also make driving at night more difficult and dangerous. Glare from car headlights at night can become blinding when you have cataracts.
Combine that with poor night vision, and night driving is especially difficult.
If you are beginning to experience poor night vision, glare, and halos, it’s time to make an appointment with your eye doctor at The Nielsen Eye Center to see if you have cataracts.
Trouble Seeing Contrast
Cataracts can make colors seem muted and yellow. They can also make it hard to recognize different colors that are a similar shade.
You may find that colors look less vibrant and that it is more difficult to identify colors. These are signs that you could have cataracts.
Monocular Double Vision
One early sign of cataracts is seeing double. If you start seeing double in one eye, it’s monocular double vision. It’s more common to see double in one eye when you have cataracts.
Binocular double vision, seeing double in both eyes, can be a sign of a severe vision problem. It can also be caused by a possible brain injury.
If you are experiencing binocular double vision or monocular double vision, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to have your vision evaluated.
It’s important to get your cataracts diagnosed soon after you begin developing symptoms. Early diagnosis means that your eye doctor can watch how your cataracts progress and help you to determine when it is time to consider cataract surgery. It can take years before cataracts are advanced enough for cataract surgery.
Wondering if you may need cataract surgery? Find out by scheduling a cataract screening at The Nielsen Eye Center in the Boston area.
If you’ve started experiencing symptoms of cataracts, it can be frustrating, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact the experts at The Nielsen Eye Center at 617-471-5665 and ask for a Patient Advocate to schedule a cataract screening!