How do I recognize the worsening of cataracts?

As strange as it may sound, very few people can tell they are developing cataracts or that their cataracts (if already diagnosed) are slowly getting worse. This is true in most cases except for the fairly quickly developing cataracts caused by trauma or certain medicines.

When I question patients, it is quite rare for someone to say "my cataracts are getting worse." But they will readily tell me they are having trouble driving at night, or that their last pair of glasses from their Optometrist "just aren't right," or that they have given up driving in unfamiliar parts of the city -especially in the rain or at dusk/dawn.

The effect on vision from a normal, age-related cataract is so glacially slow (but progressive) that we seldom can tell we have begun to cut back or modify many activities that we used to enjoy or do frequently. And it is not readily apparent to us we are doing so because of the changes in our vision!

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, most eye doctors will want to see you about 2-3 times a year to monitor their progression.

-Trevor Woodhams, M.D., Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic