The early signs of a cataract are subtle, so a person may not realize they have it. It is only as the cataract matures that one begins to experience mild cloudy or blurry vision. Even if the symptoms are mild, it is essential to speak with a doctor, as cataract symptoms increase in severity over time. The sooner a doctor knows about a cataract, the more effectively they can monitor and treat it.

Typically, as symptoms progress, a person may notice:

– objects appear blurry and colors fade
– has difficulty seeing in low light conditions, especially at night.
Read on to learn the early signs of cataracts, diagnosis, causes, treatments, preventions, and frequently asked questions.

First signs and symptoms of cataracts

Often people don’t know they have a cataract until it develops. As the cataract grows, they may experience the following symptoms:

– cloudy or blurred vision
– double vision
– changes in color vision, objects appear washed out or appear more yellow
– poor vision at night
– sensitivity to light, especially in strong sunlight
– vision of a halo around light sources.
As symptoms progress, a person may need to change glasses more frequently. Double vision sometimes goes away on its own as the cataract progresses.

Cataract Diagnosis

If a doctor suspects a person of having cataracts, they will perform a dilated eye exam. The exam is painless and includes the following tests:

– Visual acuity test: This measures a person’s ability to see letters at different distances.
– Visual field test: This test assesses a person’s ability to see objects in each sector of their visual field.
– Ocular muscle function test: This test assesses the alignment of the eyes in different gaze positions.
– Pupillary response test: This test checks if the nerve pathways are intact.
– Tonometry test: This test measures the pressure in the eyes.
– Pupil dilation test: It allows the doctor to see the inside of the eye.

People who should have a pupil dilation exam every 1-2 years include the following:

– anyone over the age of 60
– anyone with a family history of glaucoma.
If a person has diabetes or high blood pressure, they may need more frequent eye dilation exams.

A cataract often develops due to changes in the eye as you age. Lens proteins begin to break down and clump together, which can happen from the age of 40. As we age, the lens absorbs water, which changes its shape.

Early cataract treatment

The treatment a person receives for their cataract depends on its severity.
With mild symptoms, a person may need the following:

– brighter lights at home
– anti-reflective (refractive) glasses
– a magnifying lens for reading and other close-up activities
– a prescription for stronger glasses

When symptoms progress and affect a person’s quality of life, a doctor will likely suggest surgery to remove the cataract.


To prevent or delay the formation of a cataract, you must:

– wear sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes from the sun
– wear protective goggles when using power tools or playing certain sports
– follow a balanced diet
– stop smoking

Here are the most common questions about cataracts:

What does seeing a cataract look like?

When a person has a cataract, they may experience the following symptoms

– blurred vision
– cannot see well at night or in low light conditions.
A cataract can also affect color perception, so what people see may appear duller. Sunlight can also feel uncomfortable.

At what age do cataracts usually appear?

Cataracts can begin to develop as early as age 40. The risk of cataracts generally increases with age. However, the risk increases even more if a person smokes, drinks a lot of alcohol, and has certain underlying health conditions.

Other risk factors include:

– spending time in the sun without eye protection
– have eye injuries
– taking certain medications.

How long does it take to go blind from cataracts?

Cataract is a major cause of sight loss. The time it takes to go blind depends on how fast the cataract progresses. Risk factors, such as underlying diseases, can affect this time frame.

Can cataract resolve on its own without surgery?

A cataract does not heal itself. If an underlying condition is exacerbating the cataract, such as diabetes, better diabetes management can help slow its progression.
The only way that can restore a person’s vision is surgical removal of the cataract.

In summary

During the early stages of cataracts, a person may not experience any symptoms. As the cataract matures, the first symptoms usually present as blurred or cloudy vision. Some people may even notice changes in their color perception. Most often, cataracts develop with age. The reason is that the proteins in the lens begin to break down and clump together.

With age, the size, shape, color and transparency of the lens change. It is these changes that cause visual symptoms in people with cataracts. Cataracts do not go away on their own and usually require surgery when they begin to seriously affect a person’s vision. Wearing sunglasses and protecting the eye from injury are two ways to reduce the risk of developing cataracts.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.