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Symptoms of Cataracts

by Rick Alan

As a cataract develops, you may not notice any changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to grow slowly, so vision gets worse gradually. Some people with a cataract find that their close-up vision improves as the cataract matures, but this is temporary. Vision worsens as the cataract matures.


Symptoms may include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Colors seem faded or images appear with a yellow tint
  • Poor contrast
  • Poor night vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Double 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 night
    • Glare from lamps or very bright sunlight
    • A halo around lights
    • Trying to read in bright light
    • Problems when moving from a dark area to a bright area
  • In rare cases, a cataract may cause an acute glaucoma attack.

These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, see your eye care professional immediately.


SOURCES:

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research


The Merck Manual of Medical Information, 17th edition. Simon and Schuster, Inc.;2000.


National Eye Institute



Last reviewed October 2004 by Kimberly Rask, MD, PhD

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