Side effects of cataracts more noticeable in the dark evenings


As the clocks have recently gone back, leading surgeons have dubbed this time ‘the advent of the cataract season’ with a distracting glare from lights at night being a main side effect of cataracts.

With one in three over 65s expected to suffer vision impairing cataract at some point, key symptoms such as glare from lights and cloudy vision affect every day living. But with only 17 per cent of Brits over 65 recognising the distracting glare from lights as one of the main side effects of a cataract, the impaired vision is often being left untreated.

Mr James Ball, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra, says: “Many people are just coping with, and in some cases ignoring, these terrible vision problems. It is worrying that while there are specific symptoms of having a cataract there is vast unawareness of the majority of these symptoms.”

Less than half (45 per cent) of 65 year olds recognise cloudy vision as being caused by a cataract and a third of Brits (33 per cent) admit they just don’t know what the symptoms are, including:

  • Becoming more short sighted even in glasses – only 15 per cent of Brits over 65 are aware of this
  • Only one in 10 (10 per cent) know colours fade
  • And a mere five per cent know you can get double vision, even with one eye closed

Mr Ball concludes: “It is vital that people aged over 65 know the first symptoms of cataract so they can look into diagnosis and treatment as early as possible, and dramatically improve their quality of life. We have so many patients who say they feel like a net curtain has been lifted once they have had the simple procedure, and are given a new lease of life.

“We call on anyone who notices glare at this time of year to have their eyes checked, and to rest assured that this is the most commonly performed elective procedure in the world – why wait?”

The research also showed that while the majority (86 per cent) of over 65s do realise that cataracts are curable, there is a great lack of awareness of symptoms.