Cataract

Age related clouding to the lens of the eye.

This is often thought of by people as a veil or membrane growing in the eye; this is not true. 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.

 

Symptoms 

People with cataract may notice a gradual loss in the quality of their vision, this often happens in one eye first. Often night vision especially for driving is affected first, difficulties headlights is a common complaint. People will also find their vision for daily tasks like reading and watching TV more challenging.

In some cases, there can be a change in the prescription needed for glasses due to thickening of the lens. This can result in what seems to be a short –term improvement in vision, which people often find helpful initially; but the changes usually continue until they become a problem.

Management 

In the early stages of cataract, the proper management is to make sure that the persons vision meets their needs for daily life; for example driving, working or hobbies. A very important step in this process is regular eye examination to ensure that vision correction (glasses or contact lenses) is as up to date as possible. Where a person’s vision does not meet their needs or for example for driving, a referral for medical attention to have the cataracts surgically removed is the next step.

Treatment 

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.

Protect your Eyes

UV light that causes cataract! Speak to your local optometrist to get advice on the best way to protect your eyes from UV light and reduce the damage caused by the sun. If you are older and you suspect that your vision is changing don’t ignore it; get advice from your local optometrist.

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