What is a Cataract?
A regular eye lens is normally clear, allowing light to pass from the front right to the back, creating an image for your brain to process. When the lens becomes cloudy and light cannot pass through, this causes blurred vision. This type of cloudiness is called a Cataract. Most types of cataracts develop slowly and usually only in the later stages of an individual's life and can impair regular activities such as reading, watching the TV and driving. Cataracts are a natural process of ageing that cannot be avoided or prevented with medication but there are procedures that can help remove Cataracts.
Types of Cataracts:
Subcapsular cataract - an opaque area towards the back of the lens
The most common cause tends to be ageing due to clumping of proteins in the lens as they begin clouding a small area. Over time, Cataracts can grow bigger, causing more of the lens to become cloudier and making it harder to see. However, Cataracts can be caused by other factors such as:
The first sign tends to be blurred vision but the other symptoms can include:
- Colours appearing dull
- Difficulty driving at night
- Difficulty reading or watching television
- Double vision in one eye only
- Frequent changes of glasses or contact lenses
- Halos around lights
- Poor vision in bright light
A Cataract surgery is usually safe and patients tend to heal well with good vision. However, infections can occur resulting in even poorer vision. Some warning signs include:
- Discharge from the eye
- Increasing pain and redness of the eye
- Sudden blurring of vision
- Swelling of the eye
Some other complications are more physical and related to retinal tearing, detachment, and bleeding.
If you notice any of these signs, you should see your eye doctor immediately.