8 Symptoms of Cataracts

A cataract is a medical condition affecting one or both of your eyes. It makes the normally clear lens in your eyes cloudy. This causes you to feel like you are looking through a cloudy lens or fogged-up window. Once your vision becomes cloudy, you have more difficulty doing everyday simple tasks like driving or reading. This becomes especially hard at night.

The reasons cataracts occur is because injury or aging changes the tissues that create the lens in your eye. Sometimes a genetic disorder is the reason why cataracts develop on one or both of your eyes. Cataracts can also be the result of a specific medical condition such as diabetes, long-term use of any type of steroid medicines or a prior eye surgery.

As you grow age, the lens in your eyes become more rigid and less flexible. They also become thicker and less transparent, or clear. If you have a specific medical condition, the tissues in your lens can clump together and disintegrate, or break down. Cataracts grow and invade your lens. This results in cloudy vision. The clouds in your eye or eyes also block the light passing through your lens. It prevents sharp, clear images from reaching your retina. This causes your vision to seem blurred. To determine if you may have cataracts, here are nine symptoms you should know about:

1. Blurred vision

Blurred vision refers to inability to see fine details because of lack of sharpness. As a result, your vision seems hazy and out of focus. Most people refer to blurred vision as cloudy vision because objects that you see look “milky” or obscured. No matter how matter how much you strain, you cannot make out the details such as lines or circles in the objects you look at.
Sometimes you vision may become blurry for no reason. Once you blink or rub your eye lid, the blur goes away. This is not the same as blurry vision because the cloudiness in your vision persists. If the blurred vision persists, it is an indication of an underlying medical condition such as cataracts. It can also accompany other symptoms related to cataracts such as poor night vision. Blurry vision can also be the result of myopia, or nearsightedness, and hyperopia, or farsightedness.

2. Inability to see in dim light

The inability to see in dim light is called night blindness, or nyctalopia. It is a medical condition in which you cannot see in poor lighting, low lighting or dim lighting. Your retina is made of two types of photoreceptors. These photoreceptors are called Cones and Rods. Rods are sensitive to light and are responsible to for ability to see in dim light. In addition, when you have night blindness, it takes some time for your eyes to become adjust from seeing bright light to dim light.
Your inability to see in dim light is not a medical condition. It is a sign of another medical condition. Many medical condition can cause you to have trouble seeing in low or poor light. For instance, nearsightedness can cause your eyes to have trouble seeing in dim light.

3. Seeing halos

A vision halo is a light that appears around every light you see. The light may appear in a variety of colors around the ring of light. A ring of light appears because the clouding in your lens cause a diffraction of the light entering into your eye. This can make driving at night difficult because halos typically appear around street lights or headlights of oncoming vehicles.

Seeing halos in your vision is not a medical condition. It is a symptoms of an underlying medical condition such as cataracts in your eye. It may or may not accompany other signs of an underlying medical condition.

4. Vision loss

Loss of vision can be sudden or a symptom that slowly develops. It refers to the inability to see what you are looking at. Sudden vision loss develops within a couple of minutes or a few days. If your loss of vision occurs slowly, you lose the ability to see over time. The loss of vision can be a small part of your field of vision. This means that you can still see, but there is a portion of your vision that is cloudy, black or blurry. Your loss of vision can be total. This means your vision is blurry, cloudy or completely black. Vision loss can accompany other signs of a medical problem such as eye pain.

5. Yellow tint

Xanthopsia refers to the yellowish tint you might begin to see if cataracts begin to develop in your eye(s). It is a vision deficiency where you see a lot of yellow instead the true colors. Other colors you see are diminished because the yellowish color overtakes them. When you have cataracts, the clumps of protein that clouds your lens may turn brownish or yellow. A yellow tint in your vision is not itself a medical condition, but a sign that you may have an underlying medical condition such as heart failure. It is also a sign that you have cataracts or that cataracts are forming.

6. Double vision

Double vision refers to seeing two images of what you are looking at instead of one image. Along with seeing two images instead of one, you may have other symptoms such as pain when moving your eye, nausea, headache or droopy eyelids. You may experience weakness in your eye or anywhere in your body. This is a sign of a medical condition such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, corneal swelling or brain tumor. It is a cataract symptom because the cloudiness of the lens cause diffraction. The diffraction cause double images. With cataracts the double images are more of a blurring of the outline of whatever shape you are looking, as if you are unable to focus on it.

7. Glare

A glare is the opposite of a halo. Instead of seeing a ring of light around an object, light interferes with your vision. A glare resembles the result of a camera flash. You tend to see light long after the camera flash until your vision adjusts. It results from your eye properly focusing the light that comes into your retina. The bright light can become painful when it causes a glare in your eye. Glare is considered a light sensitivity symptom of cataracts. It can also be a sign of presbyopia, farsightedness, astigmatism or nearsightedness.  Cataracts cause your eyes to take longer to changes in light, leaving you more prone to glares when exposed to bright light.

8. Poor night vision

Poor night vision is the ability to see objects in the darkness. It is caused by a variety of medical conditions such as exposure to the sun, diabetes, lack of vitamin A and cataracts. With poor night vision, you typically have trouble walking through a dark room or on a clear night. The symptom can worsen if you have moved from a brightly lit environment to a darker one such as a movie theater.