Older man with cataracts smiling

When you drive at night, do you see halos around lights? Have you been experiencing frequent vision changes in a short period of time?

These are some of the signs and symptoms that you could have developed cataracts. Let’s learn more about cataracts and what life is like with cataracts.

What are Cataracts?

People develop cataracts when the eye’s natural lens goes from being clear to cloudy. This happens due to proteins building up on the lens over time.

A healthy lens is clear and easy to see through. When people have cataracts they will describe it as looking at the world through a cloudy window.

When your vision is cloudy due to cataracts, it can complicate your life. Cataracts make it hard to drive, especially at night.

Also, they make it hard to see facial expressions or complete detail-oriented tasks like reading or sewing. Cataracts are a very common condition for people to develop as they age.

By the age of 80, most people will have or already have cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

When you have cataracts, there are some common signs and symptoms to watch out for. They include the following:

Difficulty Driving at Night:

Cataracts make it hard to differentiate between light and dark. People with cataracts can get headaches from headlights when they drive at night.

Patients may also see halos or glares around light while driving at night.

Vision Changes:

Cataracts typically develop slowly over time. Early on, they are usually small and do not impact your vision.

But as they age, your cataracts will grow and affect your vision. Getting frequent eye exams is the best way for your doctor to diagnose and watch your cataracts.

As your cataracts grow, vision changes include developing cloudy, blurry or faded vision. Other symptoms can include being sensitive to light.

Usual levels of light might be too weak or strong. Cataracts make it challenging for light to enter your eye, which can give you double vision in one or both eyes.

Needing Stronger Light:

You might need more light to do detail-oriented tasks. Increasing the amount of light can make it easier to sew or read.

When your cataracts are small, it can be helpful, but it becomes less helpful as they develop.

Color Discoloration:

Cataracts can make colors look dull and faded. Things you know are white can look yellow or even brown due to the color of the cataract.

Frequent Changes in Your Prescription:

As your cataracts develop, they change your vision. It is possible to go from no glasses to needing many prescriptions in a very short period of time.


Cataracts are only treated with surgery. It is an outpatient procedure that takes an hour or less to perform.

Your doctor will place eye drops in your eyes. This dilates your eyes. You will also receive a local anesthetic to numb your eyes as well.

Some patients receive a sedative if they are nervous before the procedure. You will be awake, but groggy during cataract surgery.

During the procedure, your surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens. A few days post-surgery, you should start being able to see clearly.

Do you think you have cataracts? Schedule a cataract screening at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ in Chicago, IL! If you’re suffering from the frustrating symptoms of cataracts, it may be time for surgery.

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