A cataract is a clouding or hazing of the clear lens in the eye. It is the leading cause of vision impairment. While cataracts are more commonly associated with ageing, they can develop in young people as well. Some people are born with cataracts.
What are the symptoms?
In the early stages, a cataract may not cause any problems with your vision. However, some of the common signs reported with advanced cataracts include:
- Blurring of vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Faded colours
- Distortion or double vision in the affected eye
Who is at risk?
Those most at risk include people who have:
- A family history of cataracts
- An injury to the eye
- UV exposure without protection over a long period
- People who have or do smoke
Can it be treated?
Yes. Initially a change of glasses or light conditions may be helpful. Surgery is necessary when the cataract begins to interfere with daily activities, so regular check-ups with your optometrist and eye specialist will guide you on how the cataract is growing and advise you on when to have the cataracts removed.
Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens tissue, and replacing the eyes natural lens with an implant, called an intraocular lens (IOL). The power of the implant is calculated individually for each eye. Post operative care is required for a few weeks until the eye is completely healed.