How Do I Know When It’s Time for Cataract Surgery?

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Uncategorized on October 18, 2023

Since cataracts develop gradually, most people will not be told they need cataract surgery right away after being diagnosed. Typically, cataract surgery is recommended when your daily activities are affected by your reduced vision. 

If you have difficulty performing normal tasks, or you’re finding that your enjoyment of life is compromised, it may be time for cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn more about how to know when it’s time for cataract surgery!

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop in the natural lens of your eye as you age. During cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon removes this cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial one to restore vision.

Since cataracts are a natural part of the aging process within the eye, everyone will develop them eventually.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

If you experience the following symptoms, you may be developing cataracts.

Blurry vision 

Blurry vision is one of the most common early symptoms of cataracts. This blurriness can show up in a few different ways:

  • You may notice cloudy or hazy spots in your field of vision, almost like looking through foggy glass. These blurred patches often start small but gradually expand.
  • You might struggle to see things clearly at a distance after reading or doing close-up work. When you look up from a book or computer screen, distant objects can appear unfocused or fuzzy.
  • Overall clarity may decrease, so things at any distance look less sharp and detailed than they used to. It’s as if someone turned down the resolution on your eyesight.

This increasing lack of focus is caused by the cloudy cataract partially blocking light from entering your eye and disrupting your ability to see sharply. If blurry vision is getting in the way of your daily activities, be sure to discuss it with your eye doctor.

Double vision 

As cataracts worsen, you may notice double vision or see overlapping ghost-like images. This can occur when reading text, watching screens, or doing tasks requiring focus.

One eye’s vision often becomes weaker than the other. To avoid the doubling effect, you may unconsciously begin closing or covering your weaker eye. 

But this doubling is a sign cataracts are disrupting sharp focus. If persistent, discuss treatment options with your eye doctor.

Glare and Light Sensitivity

Cataracts can cause increased glare and light sensitivity, especially at night. Oncoming headlights while driving may create a blinding glare or rainbow haloes, making it hard to see clearly again. 

The edges of streetlamps often flare into starbursts instead of sharp lines. Entering daylight after being in the dark may be more jarring. 

Overall, bright lights at night tend to create more glare and reflections rather than illuminating your vision. Coping with disabling glare is a clue cataracts may be advancing.

Difficulty Seeing in Dim Lighting

As cataracts progress, you may notice increasing difficulty seeing in dim lighting. Tasks like reading a menu in a dark restaurant or making out a book’s words in a shadowy room become challenging without added light. 

You might need to use your phone’s flashlight just to see clearly. Cataracts prevent your eyes from adjusting well to low light levels. 

If you’re relying on bright direct lighting more often, it could signify cataracts are reducing your ability to see in dim conditions.

Faded Colors

The world may not look as bright as you remember. Colors appear faded, or everything has a yellowish tint. 

Quality of Life Matters

While you may adapt to some mild vision changes from cataracts, pay attention if they start impacting your quality of life. Ask yourself – are cataracts preventing you from fully participating in activities you enjoy?

Are you less independent in your daily routines or avoiding certain tasks? Have mishaps or frustrations from blurry vision become more common? 

If cataracts are noticeably reducing your ability to live life to the fullest, it’s time to discuss surgery options with your eye doctor. 

Are you experiencing symptoms of cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!


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Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#100 (1rst floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#100 (1rst floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more