What Do Cataracts Look Like?

April 5, 2024

Cataracts, those pesky clouds that can obscure our vision, often sneak up on us, regardless of age. We tend to think of them as an inevitable part of getting older, but the truth is, they can affect anyone. So, what exactly are these elusive eye invaders, and how do they mess with our sight? Well, buckle up because we’re about to dive into the world of cataracts.

A layman’s explanation to the question ‘What is cataract?‘ is that the part of your eye’s lens that helps you focus and see clearly, suddenly decides to throw a foggy tantrum. That’s essentially what a cataract is. It’s like having a smudged camera lens stuck in your eye. 

These cloudy formations can turn your world into a blurry mess, making it hard to see clearly. Sometimes, if left unchecked, they can even steal your vision altogether. The culprit behind this cloudy chaos? It’s those pesky proteins deciding to clump together, obscuring your vision like a fog rolling in on a misty morning. 

While aging takes the crown as the primary cause of cataracts, it’s not the only player in this eye game. Factors like diabetes, smoking, and soaking up too much sunlight can fast-track cataract formation, making them crash the party earlier than expected.

Imagine trying to navigate through daily tasks with increasingly blurred vision. Simple activities like reading, driving, or recognizing faces become challenging. As cataracts progress, they can significantly diminish one’s quality of life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms from the early stage of cataracts, such as blurred vision or sensitivity to glare, allows for timely intervention. 

That is why we are looking through the visible symptoms of cataracts in this article as we explore further the topic. Now, shall we dive in? 

Can You See Cataracts in the Mirror?

So, how does one feel when having a cataract? Imagine looking through a foggy window – that loosely describes how cataracts manifest visually. Initially, they may appear as minor cloudiness or blurriness, often compared to looking through a piece of wax paper. Over time, this cloudiness progresses, obstructing vision and causing colors to appear faded or yellowish.

If you found yourself squinting in the mirror, wondering if you can spot those cataracts through your naked eyes, here’s the scoop: cataracts don’t actually show up as visible on the surface of your eye. Well, not in the early stages of cataracts at least. But as it develops, you may notice a white or bluish-white clouding form in the pupil that appears denser and thicker as time goes on. 

Regardless, their effects on your vision can be pretty telling when you suddenly find it tough to either read your favorite book or navigate the streets during your evening drive. There were times you’ve noticed those mysterious halos appearing around street lights at night, giving you an unintentional angelic glow. These could all be signs that cataracts are making themselves at home in your eyes.

Visual Symptoms of Cataracts

The visual symptoms of cataracts paint a diverse picture, often reflecting the unique ways these cloudy formations impact our sight and may vary depending on their severity and location within the eye. 

Common signs of cataract symptoms include blurred or cloudy vision, similar to looking through frosted glass. You will also begin facing difficulty seeing at night, with halos around lights, and notice increased sensitivity to glare, especially in bright sunlight or while driving at night. 

Moreover, cataracts can turn the world’s colors from vivid to muted, like viewing life through a sepia-toned lens. Everything seems slightly washed out as the colors appear faded or yellowish. Some individuals may experience double vision in one eye, adding an extra layer of complexity to their visual landscape, basically a double vision in one eye.

At What Stage Should Cataracts Be Removed?

Determining the right time for cataract eye surgery depends on various factors, including the degree of visual impairment and how it affects your daily life. Generally, cataracts are removed when they significantly interfere with your ability to perform routine tasks like reading, driving, or watching television.

While those are clear indicators that your cataracts have reached a stage where intervention is necessary, it’s not solely about the severity of your symptoms; that determines your need for cataract surgery. Your eye doctor will also consider factors like your overall health, lifestyle, and visual goals before recommending surgery. 

So, it’s essential to have open discussions during your cataract eye exam to determine the optimal timing for cataract removal as the proactive effort of addressing cataracts promptly can help you regain clear vision and enhance your overall quality of life.

Life with Cataracts

Living with cataracts can present challenges, but there are strategies to help manage symptoms and maintain quality of life. Regular eye exams are crucial for monitoring cataract progression and adjusting corrective lenses as needed. Additionally, wearing sunglasses with UV protection can help slow cataract development caused by sun exposure.

Adopting good lighting practices, such as using brighter lights and minimizing glare, can enhance visibility and reduce discomfort. Making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and managing underlying health conditions like diabetes can also slow cataract progression.

It’s essential to remain proactive in managing cataracts and to communicate openly with your eye doctor about any changes in your vision or symptoms you may experience.

To conclude, cataracts are a common vision impairment that while they primarily affect older adults, cataracts can develop at any age due to various factors. Although cataracts can impact daily life, advancements in treatment, particularly cataract eye surgery, offer effective solutions to restore vision and improve quality of life. 

If you suspect you may have cataracts or are experiencing changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to schedule an eye examination with your eye doctor in Kuala Lumpur as it gives you a chance to effectively manage cataracts and enjoy a clear vision for years to come.


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