Are you wondering whether you may have a cataract? If you’ve noticed that your vision has gotten blurrier and less vibrant over time, a cataract may be to blame.
Cataracts are part of the natural aging process inside the eyes. Nearly everyone will experience them at some point.
As you age, the proteins in your eyes begin to break down and form clumps. This process creates a clouding of your natural lens inside your eye, which worsens over time.
Because cataracts develop so gradually and come with several possible symptoms, many people wonder whether they have a cataract or not. Keep reading to learn some signs that may help you determine if you have a cataract!
1. Your Vision Is Blurry or Foggy
Do you feel like you’re seeing the world through a foggy windshield? Or you may have just noticed that your vision has lost its sharpness.
Blurry vision is the most common cataract symptom. It affects you at all distances, whether you are looking at an object close by or far away.
In a healthy, cataract-free eye, light passes through the lens, which is typically transparent and located behind the iris. The lens helps focus light onto the back of the eye, an area called the retina.
This process creates clear images. Cataracts block and scatter light as it enters the eye, so images become blurry.
Like other cataract symptoms, blurry vision worsens over time. It may not bother you at first, but as the cataract continues to develop, it will become harder and harder to see clearly.
2. Your Eyes Are Sensitive to Bright Light
Light sensitivity can be an early sign of a cataract. When you have a cataract, bright lights can be uncomfortable to look at.
While bright lights didn’t bother you in the past, they can now feel blinding. Everything from sunlight to indoor lights can make you want to look away and shield your eyes.
Sensitivity to bright light is another result of the way that light is scattered by a cataract. Many patients try to cope by avoiding harsh lights or turning them down when possible.
3. You Keep Having to Change Your Prescription
Do you keep finding that you need a stronger prescription? It’s normal for your eyes to change over time, and, as a result, your prescription can change too.
While there are many possible reasons you may need a new prescription, a cataract can cause frequent prescription changes. In the early stages, a new glasses prescription can be enough to offset the effects of the cataract.
However, as it progresses, you will find that your glasses or contacts are no longer working as well as they used to. If you keep having to get a stronger prescription, you could have a cataract.
4. Colors Look Muddy, Brown, or Yellowed
When you have a cataract, it can seem like the world has lost its vibrancy. No matter which colors you’re looking at, they can appear muddy.
It may even appear as if there is a brown or yellow film covering everything. A cataract affects your color vision because the clumps of proteins eventually turn yellow or brown over time.
As a result, your eye is unable to perceive colors as they actually are.
5. You’re Experiencing Double Vision in One Eye
Are you seeing double? Double vision is another early symptom of a cataract.
The important thing to notice is whether you’re experiencing double vision in one or both eyes. With a cataract, double vision only occurs in one eye.
When light gets scattered by a cataract, it can result in the creation of multiple images of a single object. Not every patient with a cataract will experience double vision, but it’s worth being aware of.
6. You’re Injuring Yourself More Due to Impaired Vision
Unfortunately, injuries can occur when you have impaired vision due to a cataract. Because it’s one of your essential senses, your vision can affect your ability to complete normal activities safely when it’s impaired.
Around the world, cataracts are the most common reason for impaired vision. When you can’t see clearly, you can fall and bump your head or hurt another part of your body.
If you find yourself losing your balance more often, it could be because of a cataract.
7. You Feel Unsafe Driving at Night
Does the thought of driving at night make you nervous? When you have a cataract, it is especially difficult to see at night.
A cataract makes it challenging to see well in low light. Plus, because of increased light sensitivity, you can experience glare and halos coming off of headlights, street lights, etc.
A cataract can affect your ability to complete many ordinary tasks safely, and that includes driving. It’s common for cataract patients to avoid driving at night because they no longer feel safe behind the wheel.
The only way to truly know whether you have a cataract is to get it diagnosed by your eye doctor.
Are you experiencing symptoms of cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Cheema MD Eye Care in Kingston, NY, today!