Early Symptoms Of Cataracts & When To See An Ophthalmologist

Cataracts are one of the main causes of deteriorating vision, especially amongst older people but they can also occur at a younger age. There are a few early signs and symptoms that might indicate you have cataracts. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult your ophthalmologist for the right diagnosis and treatment. In this article, we look at the early symptoms of cataracts and when to see an ophthalmologist.

Table of Contents
Cataracts eye examination

What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is when the clear lens of your eye starts to cloud over, hardens, and turns yellow. This means that light cannot pass through into your eye, making it more difficult to see. Usually, the cloudy areas grow over time and can cause blindness if they aren’t addressed. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes but it’s not possible for them to spread from one eye to the other.

Early Signs Of Cataracts

The severity of cataracts varies so it’s important to get your eyes checked early on if you develop any symptoms. There are a few symptoms to watch out for – contact your ophthalmologist if you notice any of these problems.

  • Cloudy vision – one of the most common signs are small cloudy patches in your vision. These may not be particularly troublesome at first but can worsen. It will get harder to execute day-to-day activities. If you notice cloudy vision that develops suddenly and is persistent, speak to your ophthalmologist.
  • Glare or halos – as the lens becomes more cloudy, you might notice glares or halos in your vision. This is caused by light becoming diffracted as it passes through the cataract. This symptom might be difficult to detect during the day but is more noticeable in darkness.
  • Poor night vision – your night vision gets worse when you have early-stage cataracts. They often cause your vision to darken, making it harder to see properly at night. In some cases, the symptoms won’t be so obvious during the daytime when there is more light to compensate, but you should seek medical advice if your vision at night suddenly deteriorates.
  • Sensitivity to light – bright light can become very uncomfortable during the early stages of cataracts. If your eyes suddenly become sensitive to bright lights or bright light starts causing headaches, consult your ophthalmologist. Even if this is not due to cataracts it could indicate another eye-related issue.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms it’s important to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist. They can ensure you get the right treatment if you do have cataracts including surgery to remove them.

Contact Pacific Eye Clinic

If you’re concerned about cloudy vision, glare, or increased sensitivity to light, our ophthalmologist on the Gold Coast is here to help. At Pacific Eye Clinic, we’ve been carrying out cataract surgery for 20 years, helping patients get their vision back and lead full lives. If you’re experiencing the early symptoms of cataracts, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re based in Southport and offer diagnostic eye examinations, as well as effective surgery and treatment for cataracts.


Picture of Dr Marc Wei

Dr Marc Wei

Dr. Marc Wei is the principal specialist laser and cataract surgeon at Pacific Eye Clinic in Southport on the Gold Coast. He has 20 years of trusted experience in advanced laser cataract surgery and has completed more than 15,000 procedures over the course of his career.