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What are common cataract symptoms?

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Updated December 29, 2012

Question: What are common cataract symptoms?
I'm wondering if I have cataracts. My vision has changed lately, and I'm having difficulty driving at night because of glare. Are these cataract symptoms?
Answer: Many people wonder if changes in their vision are actually cataract symptoms. Cataract development is a gradual process of normal aging. A cataract is a clouding of the lens that sometimes causes decreased vision, glare, and halos around lights. Cataracts tend to grow slowly over time. Cataract symptoms are often unnoticeable until the cataract becomes significant. Because of this gradual change, some people not even know they have cataracts. Cataract symptoms are affected by the type of cataract you have. Be aware of the following cataract symptoms:
  • Blurry vision
  • Dimmed or cloudy vision
  • Increased need for light when reading
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
  • Halos around lights
  • Glare, especially at night
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision out of one or both eyes

What you should know:

Almost everyone over the age of 40 has some degree of lens clouding, as cataracts are a normal development of aging. However, only significant cataracts (or those that cause significant visual symptoms) should be of any concern. If your cataract symptoms interfere with quality of life, cataract surgery may be required. An ophthalmologist can remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens.

Source:

American Optometric Association. "Clinical Practice Guideline: Care of the Adult Patient With Cataract." American Optometric Association, 1995.

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