Symptoms – Can you see cataracts?

The majority of people with cataracts are unaware that they have them until their optician tells them they do. In these cases, it’s not uncommon for people to think that their vision is getting worse purely as a result of getting older.

As cataracts develop, they may leave a brownish, or yellowish tint to your vision, making it difficult to see blues and purples. They will also begin to become visible to other people as cloudy, milky, whitish patches – and eventually complete coverings – over your pupils and irises.

Although you won’t be able to see them yourself without using a mirror(1), cataracts will begin to progressively impede your vision – sometimes developing so slowly that you don’t notice them for a long time – until eventually they will cover your eye to the point that they’ll be visible to other people and you’ll ultimately become completely blinded by them, and will be visible in a mirror or to other people*.

Once your cataract develops to the point that it becomes visible, presuming that the vision in your other eye is still good, then you’ll be able to use a mirror to check how much of your eye they are covering and see how quickly or slowly they progress across your eye.



  1. Intermountain Healthcare: 7 Symptoms of cataracts

Other related questions

  • UV radiation – How does UV radiation cause cataracts?

  • Colour – Do cataracts affect colour vision?

  • Vertigo – Can cataracts cause vertigo?

  • LASIK surgery – Can a person with cataracts have LASIK surgery?

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Send us an email with your question and we will get back to you within 48hrs

[email protected]