As a cataract develops, you may or may not notice changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to develop slowly, so vision gets worse gradually. Because the change is gradual, many people do not realize that they are losing vision. Some people with a cataract find that their close-up vision improves as the cataract matures, but this is just temporary. Vision worsens as the cataract matures.
Symptoms may include: Cloudy or blurry visionColors seem faded or images appear with a yellow tintPoor contrastPoor night visionDifficulty readingDouble or multiple vision (this symptom often goes away as the cataract matures)Increased nearsightedness, requiring frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Problems with light, including:
Headlights that seem too bright at nightGlare from lamps or very bright sunlightA halo around lightsTrying to read in bright lightProblems when moving from a dark area to a bright areaAcute glaucoma attack (rare)
These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, see your ophthalmologist immediately.
Cataract. American Optometric Association website. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/cataract?sso=y. Accessed November 21, 2013.
Facts about cataract. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at:
https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts. Updated September 2009. Accessed November 21, 2013.
What are cataracts? American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/cataracts/index.cfm. Accessed November 21, 2013.
What is a cataract? NIH Senior Health website. Available at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/cataract/whatisacataract/01.html. Accessed November 21, 2013.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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