8 Signs It May Be Time For Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common cause of vision changes, particularly for older adults. Cataracts develop as the proteins inside of the natural crystalline lens of the eye break down and clump together, causing discolored or cloudy areas on the lens. 

This prevents light from getting to the retina and, over time, makes it more difficult to see. Cataracts can start out very small, and you might not even know you have them. 

Your eye doctor can identify them during a routine eye exam, but if they aren’t causing symptoms, there might be no need to take action. However, eventually, your cataracts will get larger and affect your ability to do daily tasks like reading, cooking, or driving. At that point, you should consider cataract surgery. 

Keep reading to learn eight signs it might be time for cataract surgery!

1. Impaired Daily Activities

When cataracts have reached the point of severely limiting your vision, you may have to limit your activities. You may not feel safe driving due to having poor night vision. 

You may not be able to see well enough to read street signs, navigate public transit, or travel to unfamiliar places. Your vision may cause you to have accidents like falling or cutting yourself while preparing food.  

In addition, being unable to take part in activities can affect your mental health. You may develop feelings of isolation, loneliness, or depression. 

2. Worsening Symptoms of Cataracts

You may not notice any changes to your vision when cataracts first develop. Over time, they can get larger or more cloudy, which can cause vision changes. 

Once these changes become disruptive, you should consider cataract surgery.

3. Significant Vision Changes

When the proteins that make up the crystalline lens of the eye start to break down, they form clumps that cloud or discolor the lens. These clumps prevent light from entering the eye. 

This can make your vision blurry, hazy, or out of focus. You may notice that your vision seems dimmer or darker, even during daylight or in bright lights. 

Cataracts can also cause blank or blind spots in your field of vision. This can disrupt many activities like driving, reading, watching movies, or doing household chores. 

4. Increased Sensitivity to Light or Glare

One counterintuitive symptom of cataracts can be increased light sensitivity. This is because the cloudy film on the lens can lead to the scattering of light that enters the eye. 

When the light scatters, it can make bright light seem stronger and cause you to experience more glare. This may make you uncomfortable in spaces with normal lighting and make it difficult to use a computer.

5. Worsening Night Vision

Because cataracts stop some light from reaching the retina, you need more ambient light to see well. You may have trouble seeing if it’s dark or you’re in places with low light. 

You might find you’re increasing screen brightness on your computer or phone.  Driving at dusk or after dark may be more difficult. You may not feel safe being out after sunset.

6. Seeing Halos Around Lights

Cataracts may cause you to see new or worsening glare or halos around lights, which can be a problem for driving at night. Halos, or bright glare from oncoming headlights or streetlamps, can affect vision and make it unsafe to drive after dark.

7. Double Vision in One Eye

Cataracts can cause double vision in one eye. However, you should not assume that double vision is caused by cataracts. 

Double vision can also be a sign of serious health issues such as a brain tumor, concussion, or other health conditions. It’s important to call your eye doctor right away if you have double vision. 

8. Colors Seem Significantly Dimmer 

The cloudiness of the lens of your eyes can have a brownish or yellowish tinge. You might feel like you’re always looking through a brown or yellow filter. 

Colors seem less vibrant, dimmer, or hazy, and you may not be able to see contrasts very well. This can make it hard to read, difficult to differentiate colors, and generally make vision feel weaker.

Is it Time For Cataract Surgery?

If you have cataract symptoms that are limiting your activities and affecting your mood and safety, you should ask your eye doctor about cataract surgery. The procedure is safe and effective, removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. 

The new lens will reduce or eliminate your cataract symptoms and can even correct other vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will be able to go home the same day.

Full recovery takes several weeks, but your vision should improve immediately, and you can return to many activities within a few days. If you need cataract surgery on both eyes, you will have the procedures done on separate days. 

Are you experiencing cataract symptoms? Schedule an appointment at Eye Associates of Tallahassee in Tallahassee, FL, today!

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