Cataract occurs when the lens inside the eye becomes opaque or cloudy. Lens in the human eye functions just like a camera that focuses light on the retina to form an image. When this lens becomes cloudy, the image formed on retina is defocused or less clear. This causes blurred or dim vision.
Although it is important for adults to get their complete eye checkup done on a regular basis, after crossing the age of 40 years, it becomes all the more necessary to visit your ophthalmologist for a complete eye checkup to avoid any undiagnosed or slowly progressive eye changes.
Cataract surgery is done in those cases where visual disturbances caused by the cataract start interfering with the daily activities of the patient.

It is best to visit or call a doctor to discuss following conditions or symptoms related to the eye:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Frequent change in contact lens or eye glass prescription because of decreased vision
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy vision
  • Difficulty seeing objects especially during the daytime because of sun or lamp glare
  • Difficulty while driving at night because of glare from headlights
  • Inability to perform daily activities due to reduced vision
  • Seeing halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Loss of color vision
  • Sudden loss of complete vision
  • Any other sudden or slowly developed change in vision

If a person experiences any of these symptoms, he/she should visit an ophthalmologist at the earliest. A comprehensive eye examination will reveal the most probable cause of the eye problem. And once cataract has been diagnosed, the possibilities of management can be discussed.
In case of children, the child may or may not be able to differentiate or notice any changes in his/her vision. So it is the responsibility of the parent to notice and discuss any signs of vision problem. Parent should ask friendly questions to the child to ascertain if the child is having any difficulty or discomfort while seeing objects.

Can I wait and observe my situation for some time before going to ophthalmologist?
In some appropriate cases of adult cataract, the approach of watchful waiting is advised by the doctor,where the cataract isn’t a threat to vision.A regular follow up with the doctor is advisable. The decision to do cataract surgery is generally taken in those where visual disturbances caused by the cataract start interfering with the daily activities of the patient.
Cataract in children should be managed on priority as the child is likely to develop a lazy eye if not treated immediately.