What are cataract symptoms?

What are cataract symptoms? Cataract symptoms range from blurred distance vision to problems with colour vision, distortion, eye strain, glare and difficulty with driving at night. Eventually, cataract leads to almost complete obstruction of the vision. By far, the most typical symptom though is difficulty with blurred distance vision. Patients come to me with cataracts complaining they can’t see colour licence plates or can’t identify people they could identify before from several metres away, and these are the early signs of cataract.

As cataracts progress

Some patients also complain about seeing double or triple as the cataract progresses. In the long run, what it does is it creates a situation where the patient is unable to function visually like they usually would. These symptoms can have varied effects on patients. I’ve had patients who come to me to say that they cannot drive at night because of glare problems.

This has curtailed their night-time activities. Some patients are unable to read very clearly or even watch television because their vision is too blurred, and this has led to an effect of actually shrinking their lifestyles and preventing them from doing the things that they usually do. A few patients actually have pain as well. The eye pain and headaches are from excessive eye strain from cataract.


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About the author

Leonard Teye-Botchway
Consultant Ophthalmic Physician and Surgeon |MBChB, FRCS(G), MBA, FWACS, FGCS, DCEH (Lond), Postgraduate Diploma in Cataracts and Refractive Surgery

I am Leonard Teye-Botchway and I am the Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology in Bermuda. The joy and elation I get from seeing patients who are very happy they can see after surgery is almost unimaginable. This is what really drives me to carry on being an ophthalmologist.

We have sourced some or all of the content on this page from The American Academy of Ophthalmology, with permission.