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What are the symptoms and can you still drive with cataracts?

What are cataracts?

blue eye

The lens of the eye focuses light onto the retina so that you can see objects at various distances. The lens is composed of proteins and water and is normally clear until the proteins begin to break down and the lens becomes cloudy, forming a cataract.  

Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts most commonly form in both eyes, but not necessarily at the same rate. You may not notice that you have early cataracts but over time the symptoms of cataracts can become more pronounced and include the following:

  • Your vision becomes blurry or hazy
  • Glare from headlights is more intense
  • It is more difficult to see in bright light
  • Colors appear faded
  • Nighttime vision becomes worse
  • You may develop double vision in one eye
  • You see halos around lights
  • You are changing the prescription for your eyeglasses more often

Driving with cataracts, especially at night, is a cause for concern. You might find it more difficult to see the road and street signs, other cars, and people who are crossing the road due to the cloudiness of your eye’s lens.

Can you still drive with cataracts?

If you have been told that you have cataracts in either one or both eyes, you need to take certain precautions to remain a safe driver.  In the early stages of cataract development, your cataract may be small enough that your vision is not heavily affected. You may be able to drive safely for a while as long as you don’t have any other serious medical eye condition. Over time, however, your cataract may worsen and cloud more of the lens of your eye making your vision dull, blurry and increasing glare. One thing you can do to make it easier is to make sure that your windshields, both inside and out, are clean and that the headlamps on your car are also clean and able to provide you with as much light as possible, especially if you are driving at night. What

How are cataracts treated?

As your cataracts worsen and interfere with your vision and your driving, the only treatment option available is to undergo cataract surgery. During the procedure, the cloudy lens of your eye will be replaced with a clear, artificial lens. With your new intraocular lens (IOL) in place, your eye should function and you will be able to see clearly again. You will most likely be able to resume all of your usual activities, including driving safely for many years to come. If you believe that cataracts are affecting your vision and your ability to drive, then you should contact  Jason M. Gilbert, M.D., P.C. to schedule a consultation to learn more about your cataracts and possible cataract surgery.

Posted in: Cataracts

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