Understanding the Stages of Cataract Symptoms

September 21, 2019

Cataracts are a serious eye problem that result in decreased vision for those affected. Since cataract symptoms often develop slowly, most people do not even know they have cataracts until the changes in their eyesight become noticeable.

A cataract forms when protein deposits build up on the lens of the eye. Normally, the lens focuses the light entering the eye on one point of the retina to help you see clearly. When a cataract forms, the light is blocked from passing through the lens and causes images to appear cloudy and blurry.

While cataracts are commonly the result of the aging process, it is possible for anyone of any age to develop them. If you’ve experienced eye trauma, prolonged exposure to UV rays, or have medical conditions like diabetes, it is important to understand the stages of cataract symptoms to help you recognize if you’re one of the many suffering from this eye condition.

That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide. Read on to learn more about the stages of cataracts so you can identify any of the symptoms you may be experiencing.

Contact any of our locations in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Limerick, Springfield, Horsham, and Wilmington.


When cataracts first develop, they are typically small enough that they don’t impair vision. However, if left untreated, cataracts can lead to bigger vision problems. To help you preserve your eyesight, it’s best to catch and treat this issues in its early stages.

The first signs of cataracts typically include slightly blurred vision, faded colors, minor loss of night vision, and halos around lights. Other symptoms in the early stages of cataracts include an increase of glare and double vision.

On top of that, a person with cataracts may have a more difficult time adjusting when going from a brightly lit room to a darker one. This is because a cataract can cause decreased contrast sensitivity, or the eye’s ability to adjust to different light levels intensities.

When a cataract forms, it will also continue to grow and affect your vision. If your eyesight seems to be getting worse to a point where you need stronger prescriptions for eye glasses and contact lenses, contact your doctor as this could be an early sign of cataracts.


As cataracts progress, symptoms will increase and become more severe. In the advanced stages of cataracts, it becomes more difficult to see clearly. Your vision will become cloudier, especially during the day. You may also see a visible white spot on the lens of the eye and milky or yellowish pupils.

In some rare cases, an advanced cataract can start to leak into other parts of the eye. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and most significantly, complete loss of eyesight.


With regular eye checkups, cataracts can be diagnosed and treated in their early stages. First, your doctor will examine the lens, cornea, and other parts of the eye to check for any signs of cataracts.

After that, they will administer special eye drops to dilate your pupils. Once your eyes are dilated, your doctor will take a closer look at the retina. If they detect any signs of cataracts, they will provide the appropriate treatment based on the severity of the condition.

If you’re experiencing early stages of cataract symptoms, the doctor may give you a new prescription for eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct your vision. With advanced cataracts, cataract surgery is recommended.


If you are suffering from the advanced stages of cataract symptoms, it’s best to have them surgically removed. Thanks to high-tech equipment and tools, cataract surgery is painless, fast, and effective. Plus, recovery is quick; some patients can even resume normal activities a day after the procedure.

The cataract removal surgery involves removing the damaged lens in the eye and replacing it with a synthetic lens. Synthetic lenses, or intraocular lenses (IOL), are designed to restore and correct vision after cataract surgery. There are many types of cataract lenses including:

  • Monofocal IOLs
  • Toric IOLs
  • Multifocal IOLs


Talk to your doctor or a cataract specialist to find out which is best for you.


Cataracts, when left untreated, will lead to severe vision loss. But with early detection, the right treatment, and a proper understanding of the symptoms, you can preserve your eyesight and see clearly for years to come.

To learn more about the stages of cataract symptoms and available treatments, schedule a cataract consultation at Kremer Eye Center.

We have locations in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Limerick, Springfield, Horsham, and Wilmington.

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