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- Aging, the most common cause
- Certain infections
- Exposure to radiation, certain toxins, or medications
- Taking adrenal cortical hormones for a long time
- Birth defect, inborn error of metabolism, or chromosomal abnormality
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Colors seem faded or images appear with a yellow tint
- Poor contrast
- Poor night vision
- Difficulty reading
- Double or multiple vision (this symptom often goes away as the cataract matures)
- Increased nearsightedness, requiring frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Problems with light, including
- Headlights that seem too bright at night
- Glare from lamps or very bright sunlight
- A halo around lights
- Trying to read in bright light
- Problems when moving from a dark area to a bright area
- Colors seem faded
- Poor night vision
- In rare cases, a cataract may cause an acute glaucoma attack.
- Visual Acuity Test—This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances. This may include a test of your vision under conditions of low contrast and/or glare.
- Slit Lamp Exam—This is an examination of the eye using a specialized microscope that magnifies the eye.
- Tonometry—This is a standard test to measure fluid pressure inside the eye. Increased pressure may be a sign of glaucoma.
- Dilated Eye Exam—The doctor gives you special eye drops to widen your pupil, which allows better examination of the lens and the structures of the back of the eye. This allows your doctor to examine the lens in more detail to detect a cataract.
- Do not smoke.
- Consume antioxidants, such as antioxidant vitamin supplements.
- Wear a hat and UV-protected sunglasses when outdoors.
- Follow your doctor's instructions to keep any chronic diseases in good control.
American Academy of Ophthalmology http://www.aao.org
National Eye Institute, NIH http://www.nei.nih.gov
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Canadian Ophthalmological Society http://www.cos-sco.ca
Cataracts. National Eye Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract. Updated May 2009. Accessed July 13, 2009.
National Institutes of Health. Ophthalmic Genetics Newsletter. 2000 Summer;1(2).
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/63/2013 -