A cataract is an age-related clouding to the lens of the eye. When we are born, the lens of the eye is clear and transparent. As we age factors such as ultra-violet light from the sun causes the lens to change colour. As the lens changes colour it gets duller and this makes it more difficult to see clearly.
Generally, cataracts do not tend to develop in individuals under the age of 40.
If you develop a cataract, you may notice a gradual loss in the quality of your vision. This may happen in one eye only. Changes to vision may include increased difficulty when driving at night, especially when faced with oncoming headlights, and the general deterioration of vision in everyday tasks such as reading or watching TV.
If you are concerned that you are developing a cataract, then the best course of action is to consult your optician. The check for cataracts is non-invasive and is routinely carried out as part of an eye exam.
Although cataracts are quite common in older age, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing them.
Cataracts are caused by a number of factors, but studies reveal that the primary culprit is UV light. The best way to prevent cataracts is to protect your eyes from UV rays. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that fully cover your eyes and have 100% UV protection.
Other factors that increase the risk of developing cataracts are smoking, high blood-pressure, and poor nutrition. Like your overall health, the best way to keep eyes healthy is to eat well, don’t smoke and look after yourself.
In the early stages of cataract, vision can be improved through corrective lenses. If you are not satisfied with your vision when wearing glasses or contact lenses, or you do not meet the vision requirements for driving safely, then we can refer you on to an Opthalmologist (Eye-Doctor) to have the cataract removed. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you have your eyes tested at least on an annual basis to ensure that you have the best vision possible.
Cataract Surgery and Removal
The procedure to remove a cataract is very routine and straightforward and can be carried out by eye-doctors in a hospital under local anaesthetic and people can be back in their own home for the evening. Generally, an Optometrist or GP will refer a patient to an ophthalmologist for assessment. If you wish to have a cataract removed, or are seeking advice on the procedure, then do not hesitate to contact us.