As cataracts can form slowly over a long period of time, you may have a cataract without immediately recognizing it. If you, or someone you know has experienced one or more of the symptoms below, it might be caused by a cataract.
Talk to your eye care professional if you experience any of the following symptoms of cataracts:1
When you have a cataract, it can seem like you are looking through a foggy window. At first, only a small part of your vision is cloudy. But as the cataract grows over time, the cloudy area will get larger and your vision may become duller and blurrier.2
As cataracts get worse, they block more light from reaching the retina. This makes it harder to see and drive at night. You may also need more light for indoor activities such as reading.2
Cataracts can make your eyes more sensitive to light. You may notice that indoor lights seem too bright and may have trouble seeing in bright sunlight.2
When you have cataracts, lights may appear to have halos around them. You may also notice glare around streetlights and traffic lights, making it hard to drive at night.2
At first, colours may appear faded. Your vision may also start to have a yellowish-brown tinge. This is gradual at first but may progress to the point where you have trouble telling the difference between black, blue, and purple.2
Cataracts can sometimes cause double vision, where you see two images of a single object at the same time. This occurs even when you have one eye open.2
You may need to change your glasses and contact lens prescriptions more frequently. Strangely, some people may even notice an improvement in their near vision and may no longer need their reading glasses for a while. This is sometimes called second sight and usually goes away as the cataract gets worse.2
You can start by talking about your vision with an eye care professional, who will examine your eyes to determine whether or not cataracts are causing your vision problems.
Your eye care professional is the only one who can advise you on all aspects of cataract treatment. The more informed you are, the more prepared you will be to take an active role in developing a plan that’s right for you and your lifestyle.
During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist removes the cloudy natural lens from your eye (cataract) and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL).
Cataract surgery is a routine procedure that generally lasts less than 30 minutes.
A topical anaesthetic is applied to numb your eye(s).
A tiny incision is made in the cornea.
A specialized instrument is used to break up and remove the cataract.
A new intraocular lens (IOL) implant is inserted where the cataract once was.
You may be given an eye patch to use for a short time after the procedure.
Your new lens becomes a permanent part of your eye, just like the natural lens that you were born with. Once it’s in place, you won’t be able to see or feel it and it doesn’t need any special care.1
Recovery from cataract surgery is usually very quick, with most patients returning to regular activities soon after surgery in non-complicated cases, after 24 hours, patients can return to most daily activities, with vision improving over time.12
You will need to use eye drops after the surgery. Be sure to follow your ophthalmologist’s instructions.
Although cataract surgery is a common, effective, and relatively quick procedure, it has potential for complications as with any other surgery.1
Be sure to talk to your eye care professional ahead of your procedure to learn more about all of the risks associated with cataract surgery.
Over 4 million people have cataract surgery every year across European Union member states.13
Cataract surgery risks include:12