Blurred vision with red eyes – it may be your cataracts

People tend to think of cataracts as a condition that just causes blurred vision. Whilst for many people this is true, cataracts can also have an effect on the pressure inside your eye. If you have experienced blurred vision, particularly in dim light and your eyes have become red and sore at the same time it may be due to the cataract obstructing the flow of the fluid within your eye. Blurred vision with red eyes can lead to acute or ‘phacomorphic glaucoma.’

Cataracts develop in everyone as we get older. The human lens discolours over time and becomes yellow/green, brown and then white if the cataract is very advanced. It is easy to understand that this blurs the vision but the cataract also gets bigger as we get older and this independent of the blurring.

The growth of the cataract can narrow the drainage pathway inside the eye even if you have good vision. It is typically seen in people with minimal prescription or in those who are long-sighted. Studies show that cataract surgery in these cases can stop an attack of acute glaucoma and sight loss.

The number of people with good vision having cataract surgery to create more space inside the eye is increasing. These are specialised cases and having experience of operating on people with narrow drainage angles is imperative. If you ever have blurred vision, a sore red eye and a feeling of nausea please have an urgent pressure test and eye examination. It may be a large cataract and it won’t necessarily be the first thing you think of.

More about Laura Crawley

Ms Laura Crawley is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Clinica London, Imperial College Western Eye Hospital, and The London Clinic. Her special expertise is in treating glaucoma patients as well as patients with glaucoma and cataracts. She has a lot of experience in treating glaucoma and has published extensively in scientific journals and on medical education. She still does a lot of emergency operations at the emergency department at the Charing Cross and Western Eye Hospitals for the NHS. At Clinica London, she is responsible for glaucoma patients and glaucoma patients with cataracts. She also sees patients with general eye problems.