By Tina D. Turner, M.D.,  Updated by Sefy Paulose, M.D., March, 2022

Vision Changes That Affect Daily Functioning

The hardening, yellowing and cloudiness of the lens caused by a cataract can result in the following vision changes that affect your daily functioning:
  1. Blurred or hazy vision
  • This lack of detail makes it difficult to tell time, read, watch television, see food on a plate, and walk safely indoors and outdoors, since depth perception may also be affected. Some people with cataracts describe the effect as being similar to looking through a window that is hazy and streaked with dirt
  • Difficulty with reading regular print and need a brighter light in order to do more focused tasks. However, as this change occurs gradually, most people are not aware that their lighting requirements may have changed over time.
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Development—or worsening—of nearsightedness
man wearing one brown and one blue sock 2. Reduced ability to tell certain colors apart
  • In order to see an object clearly against a background of the same color for example a brown chair against a dark rug, becomes more difficult and requires an increase in background contrast in order to make it stand out
  • This also effects depth perception, such as judging the height of a step or curb, or the depth of a bathtub
  • Reduced color perception can make it difficult to tell the brown and blue sock apart.
3. Problems with glare
  • Especially bright sunlight and room lights. Although we need more light as we get older, too much light can also cause problems. Bright outdoor sunlight or reflected light from a hallway with highly polished floors can make it difficult to see clearly because too much light can also produce glare, which can interfere with seeing our surroundings clearly.
  • People also tend to notice difficulty with night driving, due to glare from oncoming headlights.
  • Also complain of seeing halos around lights especially at night.
  • Difficulty seeing at night.
  • Seeing “halos” around lights, especially at night.
  • Double vision (diplopia), or seeing a “ghost” image when using the affected eye. Double vision can also be a sign of a serious neurological condition and always needs to be evaluated by a doctor.