Cataract is a mild clouding of the lens (or clouding at the edge of the lens) that may not cause any symptoms at all. As the cataract grows, however, the patient may experience dimmed vision, blurriness, glare or light sensitivity, altered colour perception and increased shortsightedness.
Most cataracts occur in people over 60, but the disease can develop at any age and babies may be born with congenital cataracts. Cataracts can also be caused by eye injury, diabetes, certain medications (such as steroids), radiation treatment and ultraviolet light.
You can decrease your chance of developing cataracts by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses. Cataracts can be diagnosed through a standard examination. For mild cataracts, a change in prescription may provide some vision improvement.
When your vision becomes so blurry that it makes daily activities such as reading and driving difficult, then cataract surgery should be considered. In cataract surgery, the Consultant Surgeon makes an incision in the eye and removes the cloudy lens, leaving behind the “skin” or capsule of the lens.
The lens is replaced with an artificial lens that is clear and can also correct the eye for nearsightedness or farsightedness (though glasses or contacts may still be necessary).Surgery is done under topical or local anesthetic and it takes only 15 to 30 minutes.
Following the procedure, the patient wears an eye patch for up to a day. It may take several weeks for the eye to heal completely and for the vision to stabilize, but some patients experience good vision on the day after surgery.
Depending on your job, you may be able to return to work within a few days to a week.
If you think you have Cataract or are in any way concerned about you eye health, please get in touch to book an appointment with one of our optometrists.