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Cataract Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

When a cataract is in the early stages, you may not notice any changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to mature slowly. Vision gets worse gradually. Some people with a cataract find that their close-up vision suddenly improves, but this is temporary. Vision is likely to worsen as the cataract becomes more cloudy. Because the decrease in vision is gradual, many people do not realize that they have cataracts until discovered during an otherwise routine eye examination.

Symptoms include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Problems with light, including:
    • Headlights that seem too bright at night
    • Glare from lamps or very bright sunlight
    • A halo around lights
  • Colors seem faded
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription

These symptoms can also be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care professional immediately.

Diagnosis

Although you might think you have a cataract, the only way to know for sure is by having an eye examination. To detect a cataract, an eye specialist examines the lens and may do other tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye.

A comprehensive eye examination usually includes:

  • Visual acuity test—an eye chart test that measures how well you see at various distances
  • Pupil dilation—the pupil is widened with eyedrops to see more of the lens and retina
  • Tonometry—a standard test to measure the pressure inside the eye; increased pressure may be a sign of glaucoma

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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