Early Signs Of Cataracts To Look Out For - SightMD Skip to main content

July 27, 2023

By: Vincent Basilice, MD

Early Signs Of Cataracts To Look Out For

Older male with grey hair getting eyes checked for signs of cataracts

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment, especially in seniors, which affect approximately 25 million Americans aged 40 and older.

In older adults, the eye’s crystalline lens yellows and begins to harden, resulting in blurry vision, dull color perception, and difficulty seeing at night. Cataracts worsen over time, so it’s important to understand the stages of cataract progression in order to treat symptoms early and slow or even stop the progression of cataracts.

An ophthalmologist can provide you with an accurate cataract diagnosis and help you plan an appropriate course of treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Someone with cataracts might not have any symptoms at first, when cataracts are mild. But as cataracts grow, they can cause changes in vision. For example, a person with cataracts may notice that:

  • Vision is cloudy or blurry
  • Colors look faded
  • Poor vision at night
  • Lamps, sunlight, or headlights seem too bright
  • A halo around lights
  • Seeing double (this sometimes goes away as the cataract gets bigger)
  • The need to change the prescription for your glasses often

How to Slow Down Cataract Progression

Small cataracts do not always develop quickly, giving patients and their families plenty of time to consider options and discuss treatment and/or prevention with an ophthalmologist. Some may stop progressing all together after a certain point, but cataracts never go away on their own. Should they continue to grow they can cause blindness if left untreated. Although cataracts are not reversible, there are some things you can do that may help slow down the progression of cataracts. Just be sure to speak with an eye doctor first to determine if cataract surgery is needed or recommended before your symptoms get worse.

  • Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block the sun
  • Avoid or quit smoking
  • Eat healthy, and include dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens in your diet
  • Get a dilated eye exam once every two years

Learn More About Cataract Surgery

If you think you have cataracts, you may be interested in learning about cataract surgery. Although surgery is not required for early-stage cataracts, it can help you avoid worsening vision problems and may even reduce or eliminate your need to wear glasses and contact lenses. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our Cataract Specialists contact SightMD today.