Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and the principal cause of blindness in the world. Today cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans. With cataracts being such a large concern for an aging population, it is important to be informed about signs and symptoms. Most age-related cataracts develop gradually, and as a result, many people do not notice signs or changes right away when cataracts first develop.
Cataract symptoms progress over time and can include:
- Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
- More difficultly seeing at night or in low light
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos
- Faded or yellow colors
- Double vision within one eye
- A need for bright light for reading
Cloudy vision is the loss of visual acuity or a dimming of visual perception that can affect one or both eyes. Cloudy vision is a haziness or lack of clarity in your eyesight, much like looking through a cloudy piece of glass. Cloudy vision can dull color perception and is often accompanied by glare or halos around lights. Sometimes cloudy vision may result in discharge from the eyes, tearing or serious causes such as trauma to the eye.
Although the term cloudy vision is sometimes used to describe blurred vision, the two changes in vision are different. Blurred vision is most often caused by refractive error which can be corrected by eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Occasionally cloudy vision can be a sign of medical emergency. Call 911 or seek immediate medical care if cloudy vision is a result of a chemical injury or trauma or if cloudy vision occurs along with other serious symptoms. These symptoms may include eye pain, sudden change of vision or blindness, sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body.