4 Signs it’s Cataracts and Not Old Age

An elderly man smiling and holding a mug

At some point, everyone gets cataracts. They are just a part of getting older. That’s why age is the top risk factor for cataracts, and why cataracts are the most common cause of blindness in the world.

But there are many other risk factors that can trigger the early development of cataracts. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it could be a cataract maturing, even if you are young.

1. Blurry Vision

Cataracts cause blurry vision by blocking light from entering the eye. The eye needs light to reach the retina to gather information.

Cataracts cause the lens inside the eye to become opaque over time. When this happens, a common sign of cataracts is blurry or distorted vision.

2. Light Sensitivity

Sometimes cataracts can cause light to scatter inside of the eye instead of being focused on the retina. This can cause significant glare, which can be painful and distracting.

3. Visual Problems

Cataracts can cause some strange and disruptive problems with your eyesight. This includes seeing halos around fixed points of light, double vision in one of your eyes, and even a temporary improvement to your vision.

This phenomenon is called second sight. It occurs when the cataract makes the lens swell in the right way to correct an existing refractive error.

While this may seem like a good thing, it won’t last long. It’s only temporary and will go away once the cataract continues blocking light.

4. Faded Colors

Cataracts are yellow or a muddy brown color. When light passes through them, it can start to take on the same color as the cataract.

Another sign of cataracts is noticing muddied colors or things that used to be white looking more yellow.

Other Cataract Risk Factors

Knowing what else causes cataracts can help you develop good habits. This can potentially help prevent their development.

Even if you do develop healthier habits, there is no guarantee that you’ll never develop cataracts later on in life.

Health Problems

Certain diseases or health problems can trigger early cataract development. This includes diabetes, high blood pressure, and being overweight.

Talk to your primary care physician if you are having trouble controlling these. They can lead to many other problems worse than cataracts if they are not under control.


Most people know that smoking is bad for you, especially for your lungs. But did you know it can also damage your eyesight?

Among various other vision problems, smoking also significantly increases your risks of developing cataracts at a younger age.


Certain medications that contain corticosteroids may cause cataracts. Being on them for an extended period of time will increase your risk.

Exposure to Sunlight

Ultraviolet radiation can wreak havoc on your eyesight if you are not careful. Wearing sunglasses that block out 100% of UVA and UVB light is important whenever you’re outdoors. Make sure to also limit your exposure to sunlight when possible.

Eye Surgery or Injury

Even the safest eye surgeries can trigger cataract development. This can include cataract surgery.

While it is impossible for cataracts to grow inside the lens of the eye after cataract surgery, you can form something called a secondary cataract. This forms on the membrane that holds the lens in place.

Fortunately, the surgery to fix secondary cataracts is simple and easy to have.

Concerned that you may have cataracts? Set up an appointment at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington, VT to learn more!

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