A cataract is a clouding of the naturally clear lens in your eye and is one of the leading causes of vision impairment. It becomes more common as you grow older, affecting over 70% of Australians aged over 80. At its early stages, the symptoms of cataracts may remain unnoticeable. But as the cataract develops, it can begin to impact your vision and compromise your lifestyle.

Here are six common symptoms of cataracts to look out for.

1. Cloudy, blurred or dim vision

As cataracts are a clouding of the lens, it blocks the amount of light that is able to pass through your eye. This leads to vision that appears cloudy, blurry or dim.

2. Sensitivity to lights and glare

Cataracts may cause difficulty seeing clearly in the presence of bright lights. Indoor lights may now appear too bright, and driving at night is also more difficult due to the glare caused by street lights and headlights.

3. Halos around lights

The cloudy cataract lens can sometimes diffract light that enters your eye, causing it to scatter in multiple directions. This leads to the appearance of rings or halos around lights.

4. Difficulty seeing at night

Many patients with cataracts report an increased difficulty seeing clearly at night time, due to the dimmed and cloudy vision caused by the cataract lens.

5. Fading or yellowing of colours

As the cataract develops, the lens becomes yellowish in colour, leading to a fading or yellowing of colours.

6. Seeing double in one eye

The clouding of the lens can scatter light rays into multiple directions, creating many focal points of light rather than a single focal point. This leads to the appearance of double or ‘ghost’ images.

Treatment for cataracts

The only effective means of treating cataracts is surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a new artificial lens.

A person’s decision to pursue surgery depends on how much vision is lost and how much the cataract is affecting one’s lifestyle. The cataract symptoms can significantly decrease the quality of one’s life and lead to falls, accidents and isolation. This is why it is best to have your vision assessed as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms of cataract.

Our team of highly qualified eye specialists at George Street Eye Centre are cataract specialists who can help you with cataract removal. If you would like more information, please call us on (02) 9230 0010.