Do You Have Cataracts?

Do you think you may have cataracts? At Swagel Wootton Eye Institute in Arizona, we can perform simple diagnostic tests to determine what’s going on with your eyes. If necessary, our board-certified surgeons may recommend cataract surgery to correct your vision and help you see clearly again.

Cataracts develop slowly and may not impact your vision when they first form. However, as the cataract gets bigger, it distorts the light that hits your lens, leading to more noticeable symptoms.

Following are the most common cataract symptoms, which are consistent with what we’ve seen in our practice:

Cloudy or blurred vision

Difficulty seeing at night

“Halos” around lamps and streetlights

Sensitivity to bright lights and glare

Seeing double vision in one eye

Difficulty focusing close-range

Eyeglass or lens prescription keeps changing

Fading or yellowing of colors

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, there are several diagnostic tests an ophthalmologist can perform to determine if cataracts are the cause. These include:

  • Visual acuity tests: During a visual acuity test, an ophthalmologist will evaluate how well you can read a series of letters from a distance.
  • Slit-lamp examinations: During a slit-lamp examination, an ophthalmologist will use a well-lit microscope known as a slit-lamp to analyze your cornea, lens, and iris.
  • Retinal exams: An ophthalmologist will perform a retinal exam to evaluate the back of your eye (the retina) using a slit-lamp or ophthalmoscope (a simple, hand-held microscope).


Happy older man with friends and family, enjoying life after cataract surgery Older male cataract surgery patient enjoying time with family and friends and being able to see clearly

Spotting Cataracts Early

In the United States, 40 percent of seniors 75 or older have some form of lens clouding. Approximately half of those over 80 have vision impaired by cataracts. Besides age, risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Family history
  • Previous eye injury
  • Consistent exposure to bright sunlight
  • Previous eye inflammation

Because of these risk factors, certain professionals, such as airline pilots or those who work outdoors, may have a higher risk of cataracts.

You can’t really control whether you get cataracts. However, here are some preventive measures to help you maintain healthy vision and possibly slow the progression of cataracts:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat foods with vision-boosting vitamins and nutrients including, kale, broccoli, walnuts, salmon and citrus fruit.
  • Keep diabetes and weight gain under control as these conditions may hasten the development of cataracts.
  • Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
  • Visit Swagel Wootton Eye Institute for a consultation.

If you have one or more symptoms of cataracts or fall in any of the risk categories, you can take our Cataract Self-Test for a more definitive answer. 

If you have taken our Cataract Self-Test and received results that indicate you have cataracts, it’s time to talk to your eye doctor in Arizona. We can set up a consultation to determine all your options, including cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the surgeon removes your natural lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. 

Each patient is unique, so whether the eye doctor recommends cataract or laser cataract surgery varies. In general, cataracts become a stronger option when vision loss impacts for daily life. Having cataracts in itself doesn’t constitute the need for surgery. 

Call our cataract surgeons in Arizona at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute to find out how we can help you maintain and improve your vision. You can reach us at (480) 641-3937 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.