An elderly couple smile at each other

When you get older, you will need to be regularly checked for cataracts. You may find out you have cataracts but don’t need them removed right away.

Cataracts begin small and grow so slowly that they don’t affect vision in a meaningful way at first. For most people, they won’t for quite some time.

Even though cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures you can have, most surgeons recommend waiting to have it. They recommend waiting to have it until the cataract is significantly impeding vision.

This is the safest approach since there are certain unavoidable risks with any kind of surgery.

If your eye doctor at Colorado Eye Consultants discovers a cataract developing, these are some of the symptoms that could develop with it. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Worsening Eyesight

The most obvious symptom of a cataract is the gradual progression of vision loss. This happens because the cataract stops light from passing through the lens of the eye.

As the cataract matures, it not only gets bigger, but also darker. The growth is slow but steady, and won’t stop until total blindness occurs.

Any blindness that occurs due to cataracts can be easily reversed thanks to cataract surgery. If you notice that you are having trouble driving, reading, or completing tasks in low-light, you may be ready to have your cataract removed.

2. Problems With Glare

Sometimes, cataracts can grow in a way that they cause light to scatter inside of your eye. Cortical cataracts grow in wedges from the rim of the lens in towards the center.

This often causes light to bounce around after it passes through the lens and before it reaches the retina, causing significant glare. When this happens, it can be quite painful or uncomfortable.

3. Changes in Color Vision

Cataracts eventually cause vision to take on the same muddy color as themselves. This can make colors appear faded, reducing your ability to detect contrast.

If you are having trouble distinguishing objects from their surroundings, you may have cataracts that are coloring the light passing through them.

4. Other Vision Abnormalities

Cataracts can produce a variety of other interesting, but quite distracting vision problems. For example, at night you may begin to notice halos forming around headlights, streetlamps, or other fixed points of light.

Cataracts can also cause you to experience something called “double vision”. This causes you to see several images in one eye.

Perhaps the most interesting abnormality is known as “second sight”. This refers to a cataract that actually improves your vision.

This only occurs in farsighted patients under certain circumstances. The cataract may cause the center of the lens to expand and swell.

While the cataract is young, small, and transparent, light is still able to pass through. If the lens swells just the right amount, it can actually correct your refractive error.

But this is only temporary. Your cataract will only continue to grow and darken and affect your vision.

Concerned that you may need to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Colorado Eye Consultants in Littleton, CO! If your vision is blurry or distorted, it’s worth finding out sooner rather than later!