As the proteins gradually break down and clump within the eye's lens over time, cataracts form and cause distorted, cloudy vision. Fortunately, cataracts can be corrected with surgery at Monterey County Eye Associates, serving Monterey, CA. Cataract symptoms typically go unnoticed until they've developed enough to cause opacity of the lens, which inhibits the passage of light to the retina. Here, our vision team explains seven common cataract symptoms.
Vision loss may be unnoticeable at first because cataracts start small. As the cataract grows, it affects more of the lens and interferes with light passing to the retina. Cloudy vision will become worse if it is left untreated.
Less Vivid Colors
As cataracts advance, colors may seem less vivid, faded, or tinted. Healthy lenses are crystal clear. Cataracts gradually change the color of the lens, causing a yellowish or brownish appearance. A tinted lens filters and discolors perceived vision.
Decreased Night Vision
As people mature, they generally need brighter light to perform daily and nightly activities. Advanced cataracts darken the lens and make it harder to distinguish objects, especially in dim lighting. Night blindness is common in patients with cataracts and is associated with the failure to quickly acclimate to unlit settings. Night blindness may make driving at night or reading a menu at a restaurant difficult.
Although cataracts can cause patients to need more light, excessive lighting can also make it difficult to see. Too much light produces sharp glare, which inhibits vision. Harsh glares can feel uncomfortable while compromising your ability to see clearly.
"Halos" are bright rings around a light source. Halos can be a natural response to bright lights in a dimly lit room or at nighttime. When cataracts are present, halos happen when light rays diffract (or bend) as they enter the eye, and it can take a serious toll on your vision quality.
Diplopia (or double vision) happens when a person perceives duplicate images instead of a single, focused image. The cataract clouding pattern scatters light and creates double vision.
Changing Prescriptions Frequently
As cataracts develop, they will cause more pronounced changes in vision requiring frequent prescription changes. If you find that you are needing updated prescriptions more frequently than normal, and you are over 40 years old, it’s very possible that you are beginning to develop cataracts. It’s important to know that any changes in vision are cause for scheduling a checkup with your eye doctor.
Schedule an Appointment
The common signs of cataracts impair vision and only become worse over time. The majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery are satisfied with their results.
If you or a loved one is experiencing vision changes, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist. To learn more about how to protect and maintain your vision, contact us at your earliest convenience. Call (831) 424-1150 or message our Monterey practice online to schedule an appointment with one of our award-winning ophthalmologists.