What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Cataracts?


Quick Answer

Common signs and symptoms of cataracts include blurry or cloudy vision, double vision, glare and sensitivity to light, states Mayo Clinic. Night vision declines, and colors appear faded or yellowed. Many individuals see halos around lights, and escalating vision problems lead to ongoing changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

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A cataract is a condition that causes cloudiness in the eye’s lens, interfering with clear vision, according to MedicineNet. When light passes into the eye, a cataract causes the lens to transmit a distorted image to the retina at the back of the eye, producing blurry sight. Cataracts often develop naturally in old age when the proteins that make up the lens gradually cluster in small areas, reducing the lens’s transparency. However, other factors, such as injury, surgery, diabetes or radiation exposure, can cause secondary cataracts unrelated to age.

Cortical, nuclear and posterior subcapsular cataracts are common variants of noncongenital cataracts, states Mayo Clinic. Cortical cataracts form on the edge of the lens, causing white streaks or wedges that increasingly extend toward the center. Nuclear cataracts form at the lens center and typically impair color perception or cause nearsightedness. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are small, opaque clouds that develop at the back of the lens and directly intercept the light projected toward the retina, making the eyes more sensitive to bright light and darkness.

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