5 Signs That It May Be Time for Cataract Surgery

cataract symptoms

Cataracts are a slow-developing eye disease that gradually makes it more difficult to see. While it can take years for them to impede your vision, there are certain symptoms you need to be aware of as a sign to seek treatment. You can also protect yourself by getting regular comprehensive eye exams that give your ophthalmologist a clearer view of your eyes’ structure. 

The 5 signs that it may be time for cataract surgery are:

  • Blurry, cloudy, or dim vision
  • Double vision
  • A yellow or brown tint to your vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights

Baptist Eye Surgeons is your source for cataract surgery in the Knoxville, Morristown, and East Tennessee area. Our eye surgeons are trained in the latest developments of cataract treatment, giving you peace of mind every step of the way.

Signs That It May Be Time for Cataract Surgery

Cataract symptoms can vary from person to person. However, common symptoms include blurry vision, double vision, a yellowish tint to your sight, light sensitivity, and halos around lights. Talk to your ophthalmologist if you suspect you may have signs of cataracts.

1. Blurry, Cloudy, or Dim Vision

Your eyes function a lot like a camera, allowing light to pass through to your retina where the images you see are formed. Cataracts occur when the proteins and fibers in the lens break down, clumping together and preventing light from reaching your retina. 

This causes the lens of your eye to become:

  • Thick
  • Less flexible
  • Cloudy

Unlike the blurriness you experience if something is in your eye, the cloudiness due to cataracts never goes away. In fact, it will only get worse with time. Fortunately, cataracts are usually very slow to develop. This gives our eye surgeons plenty of time to track their growth and advise you of when it’s time for cataract surgery.

This is why it’s so important to get regular comprehensive eye exams. These types of exams do so much more than see if your prescription needs updating. They utilize eye dilation to allow our team of ophthalmologists to examine the eye on the structural level, checking for changes and threats to your vision and overall health.


Click here to learn the 7 signs that it’s time for your next comprehensive eye exam!

2. Double Vision

Double vision is an early sign of cataracts.  As with blurry or cloudy vision, cataract-related double vision is caused by light being scattered as it enters your eye.

When healthy, your eyes each produce their own image and your brain combines the two, producing a single image. This is known as binocular vision. However, sometimes the eyes don’t work as well together, resulting in double vision, or diplopia. These effects can be permanent or temporary depending on your condition.

The second image can occur in different positions, including:

  • Horizontally
  • Vertically
  • Diagonally

Double vision due to cataracts is known as monocular double vision. That basically means that it only affects one of your eyes. This results in an effect called ghosting in which the doubled object you see appears very close to the actual one. 

3. A Yellow or Brown Tint to Your Vision

cataract treatment knoxville, tn

Cataracts grow larger over time as more proteins and fibers clump in the lens. It can take a long time for symptoms to become noticeable, but they’re pretty obvious when they do. It’s at this point that they begin to interfere with the transparency of your lens, making it more difficult for light to reach your retina. 

Cataracts can begin to affect the colors you see as they cover more of your lens. If allowed to progress far enough, you may begin to notice your vision taking on a yellow or brownish color. This may seem manageable at first, but it’s actually a sign that the cataract has progressed pretty far. You should contact your eye doctor immediately to discuss treatment options.

Click here to read our comprehensive guide to cataracts!

4. Sensitivity to Light & Glare

Glare can occur for a number of reasons, but it is categorized into two types: discomfort glare and disability glare. 

Discomfort glare is the more common of the two and occurs when light is too strong for your eyes. It’s the type of glare you experience when being in bright sunlight or going outside after being in a movie theater. This type of glare is easily remedied with sunglasses or averting your gaze from the source of light.

Disability glare, on the other hand, is caused by an eye disease that affects your eyes’ ability to function normally. This type of glare makes it difficult to see even in normal light levels and sources such as the sun. While disability glare can be caused by various eye diseases, they’re most often the result of cataracts.

Like with other cataract symptoms, sensitivity to light and glare is caused by the scattering of light in your eye. The formation of cataracts makes it to where light can no longer pass through the lens and to the retina normally. This results in light and glare sensitivity along with other symptoms.

5. Seeing Halos Around Lights

Seeing halos around lights is one of the most common symptoms of cataracts. This is especially the case for posterior subcapsular cataracts, which affect the back of your lens. These cataracts start out as tiny clouds on your lens and prevent light from reaching the retina in the back of your eye. 

They also make it difficult to:

  • Read
  • See in bright light
  • Drive at night

Posterior subcapsular cataracts are more aggressive than other types of cataracts. They tend to develop faster, so it’s important that you contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Cataract Surgery in Knoxville, TN

If you have any of the signs that it may be time for cataract surgery then you’ll need to speak with your eye doctor. You can live with cataracts for a long time since they develop so slowly. However, they will eventually reach the point where they need treatment. This can be a stronger eyewear prescription, using brighter lights, or using a magnifying glass when necessary. As they develop, you may eventually require surgery.

You can trust our team of eye surgeons to be with you every step of the way. They have years of experience and have trained in the latest techniques for cataract treatment. You can rest easy knowing that they stay on the cutting edge of eye surgery, providing you with a quick and safe return to your normal life.

Are you concerned that you have symptoms of cataracts? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Cataracts are caused by deteriorating proteins and fibers in the lens of your eye clumping together. Signs that it may be time for cataract surgery vary, including vision that’s blurred or clouded. They can also cause double vision as well as add a yellow or brown tint to the world around you. Cataracts impede light’s ability to reach the retina, causing halos and sensitivity to light.

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