Blurred, foggy vision may indicate cataracts

Among people over 60 it is common to develop cataracts, referring to a clouding of the lens of the eye, which can make it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as reading, driving (especially with nighttime glare), and watching television. Although it is a harmless and painless condition, the blurred, cloudy vision can become progressively worse. Many people with cataracts ultimately opt for cataract surgery, a very common procedure that is safe and effective.

Causes, symptoms and diagnosis of cataracts

Although the condition may affect younger people, cataracts occur more often as a result of the natural aging of the body. They may also be caused by:

  • A congenital condition, something you were born with or that developed in early childhood
  • A condition or disease, such as diabetes, or from exposure to radiation
  • A trauma that affected the eye

People who drink or smoke heavily may be more susceptible to cataracts.

The first sign of cataracts is often a blurriness or foggy, filmy vision in one or both eyes. You may also notice:

  • Difficulty seeing things that are far away (nearsightedness)
  • Changes in your perception of color
  • Double vision
  • Your glasses or contact lenses don’t seem to be working

The only way to diagnose cataracts is by getting an exam with an eye professional who will test your vision and also conduct certain tests, such as a dilation test (special drops in your eyes to dilate the pupil), and measuring pressure within the eye.

If you are diagnosed with cataracts, your eye care professional can explain different nonsurgical and surgical options available to you. For some patients, changing an eyeglass prescription or wearing anti-glare sunglasses may improve the condition. For others, cataract surgery may be recommended.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.