Symptoms of a Cataract

By Tina D. Turner, M.D.

Symptoms of cataracts can include any or all of the following:

man wearing one brown and one blue sock

Reduced color perception can
make it difficult to tell the
brown and blue sock apart.

  • Problems telling certain colors apart, such as navy blue, brown, and black, or blue, green, and purple (example at left).
  • Problems with depth perception, such as judging the height of a step or curb, or the depth of a bathtub
  • Blurred, hazy, or "milky" vision, as if looking through a dirty or cloudy piece of glass, or through glasses that always seem to need cleaning
  • Difficulty reading regular print and/or street signs
  • Needing a brighter, more focused light for reading and other close-up tasks, such as sewing and crafting
  • Problems with glare, especially bright sunlight and room lights
  • Sensitivity to oncoming headlights while driving at night
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing "halos" around lights, especially at night
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Development—or worsening—of nearsightedness
  • Double vision (diplopia), or seeing a "ghost" image when using the affected eye. Double vision can also be a sign of a serious neurological condition and always needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Personal Stories

  • Paul and Dorothy Johnson: A Daughter's Story
    Read Paul and Dorothy Johnson's story, written by their adult daughter. Dorothy had cataracts and Paul had macular degeneration and diabetes. Learn how the Johnsons and their daughter made the decision to live together.

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