Cataracts: Here’s What You Have to Know about Their Symptoms

Everyone uses their eye’s lenses on a daily basis. Reading, scrolling through social media on your phone, bird watching, driving, and playing with your cat-sight is a vital part of everyday life. Over time, as you age, the proteins in your lens can end up clumping together. That will turn the lens cloudy, impacting the initial crystal clear “setting.”

Some behaviours can put a person at a much higher risk for a cataract:

  • Exposure to radiation
  • High blood sugar
  • Smoking
  • Too much time in the sun without eye protection
  • Using steroid medications

Cataract Symptoms

  • Blurry Vision

Cataracts usually begin slowly, with subtle symptoms early on. Things may seem blurry at first, like looking at an impressionist painting. As cataracts continue to grow, your vision will get worse and worse. You will see the world as though you were looking through a cloudy lens, full of dim shapes and colours.

The main types of cataracts come in a trio, affecting various lens parts:

  1. Cortical cataracts on the side of the lens (which show up as small streaks)
  2. Nuclear cataracts in the center of the lens
  3. Posterior subcapsular cataracts

Vision will likely improve, though for just a bit, for people who have nuclear cataracts. It’s a sensation generally referred to as “second sight.”

  • Negatively Affected Night Vision

Cataracts will gradually darken with a brown or yellow tinge as they advance. This affects their ability to transmit light and thus their ability to enhance night vision. Nighttime activities like driving will be incredibly tough at this point.

So much so, that Australia’s Curtin University did a study that found how treating cataracts brings car accident risks down by 13 percent. Even the slightest suspicion of cataracts should require caution at night. Any compromise to a person’s vision should be a clear sign not to drive until the eyes are checked out by a medical professional.

  • Light Sensitivity

This is one of the most common symptoms of cataracts. The Mayo Clinic says bright lights can be rather hurtful when they’re glaring, especially when people have posterior subcapsular cataracts. Those generally start at the lens’ backside, blocking light’s path. For the most part, it generally interrupts reading vision.

  • A Semblance of “Halos”

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside your eye, resulting in the diffraction of light entering your eye. This makes it difficult to see clearly; you may see rings around any light source, or you may see “halos” around light sources. This makes driving at night more dangerous.

  • Constantly Needing New Glasses

If a person’s reading glasses keep breaking or their contacts keep falling out, they may be developing cataracts. Just getting a stronger pair will not help the problem at all. When a person’s eyesight changes in rapid succession, it’s important for them to see an eye doctor right away.


Cataracts are a serious issue that involves the proteins in the eye’s lens clumping together. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms, like light sensitivity and negatively affected night vision. The best rule to follow is to see an eye doctor.

Looking for an eye centre that can help to address cataracts? Set an appointment at Valley Laser Eye Centre today! We’re a vision correction center in Abbotsford, BC, with an amazing staff that’s highly trained.

This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.



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