Cloudy Vision, Difficulty Driving at Night? (It Could Be Cataracts)

Cloudy Vision, Difficulty Driving at Night? (It Could Be Cataracts)

A healthy eye lens is clear, allowing clear vision. If your eye lens appears cloudy, it could be due to cataracts. Cataracts grow over the eye lens, causing cloudiness. When an individual has cataracts, it is like looking through a foggy or frosty window. Cloudy vision can make it difficult to see clearly, especially at night. 


Understanding Cataracts 


The eye lens is located behind the pupil. With age, cells grow and die, leading to the buildup of debris that causes cataracts. Cataracts are painless and usually develop slowly. They do not affect eyesight in the early stages.

Over time, they grow and interfere with vision. Eyeglasses and brighter lighting usually help deal with cataracts during the early stages. When poor vision interferes with daily activities, it may be time for cataract surgery. The first symptom of cataracts is usually poor night vision. 


Cataracts and Poor Vision


Most people who have cataracts develop poor night vision. It is usually the first symptom that occurs because the clouded lens distorts the light as it enters the eye. You may experience halos around lights, often at night. 

The condition can make it hard to drive at night. Blurry vision is another common symptom that makes reading and performing other tasks hard. Reading glasses can help reduce the symptoms and improve your vision. 


Symptoms of Cataracts


Several symptoms can indicate you may have cataracts. They include:

  • Blurry, clouded, or dim vision

  • Difficulty with night vision

  • Light and glare sensitivity

  • Frequent eyeglasses or lens prescription changes

  • Need for brighter reading lights

  • Fading of colors

  • Double vision in one eye

Initially, cloudiness from cataracts may only affect a small part of the lens. However, as the cataract grows, it clouds more of the lens, resulting in more obvious symptoms. 


Risk Factors for Cataracts


Cataracts can affect anyone, but some people have a higher risk of developing the relatively common eye condition. Risk factors include:

  • Getting older

  • Having diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Excessive sunlight exposure

  • Obesity

  • Previous eye injury

  • High blood pressure

  • Previous eye surgery

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Prolonged use of certain medications


Getting Cataract Surgery 


Cataract surgery is the only treatment option when eyeglasses fail to clear your vision. Eye doctors usually recommend surgery when the patient’s eyesight impacts daily activities. Surgery involves the removal of the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. 

Surgeons insert the intraocular lens (IOL) in the same position as the natural lens. If you are not a good candidate for surgery, the doctor will recommend eyeglasses or contacts. For most people, there is no urgency to perform surgery. 

After an eye exam, the doctor will determine if surgery is right for you. Cataract surgery is a safe procedure, but there is always the risk of bleeding and infection. The surgeon will inform you about the benefits and risks of the surgery. 

For more on if cloudy vision and difficulty driving at night could be due to cataracts, contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care at our Miami Gardens, Florida office. Call (305) 902-3320 to schedule an appointment today.

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