Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in your eye and can develop in one or both eyes. The lens is normally clear and sits behind the iris – the colored part of the eye. The lens helps focus light to produce a sharp image on to the retina at the back of the eye and changes shape to allow you to see close objects. A cataract acts like a frosted glass coating that scatters light, causing blurring and lack of clarity.
Cataracts are painless and usually cause a gradual worsening of sight. The main symptoms are:
We recommend that you have an eye test every two years, unless your Optometrist advises otherwise.
Cataracts result from changes to your eye’s tissues, commonly caused by the effects of aging or an injury. Inherited genetic disorders and health problems can also increase your risk of developing them. They have also been linked to eye conditions, past eye surgery or medical conditions like diabetes. Long-term use of steroid medications have also been shown to cause cataracts.
Depending on the severity of your cataract symptoms will determine what treatment you need. Cataract surgery becomes necessary when your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life or hinder your ability to perform normal daily activities like reading or driving. Since cataracts don’t harm the eye, you don’t need to rush into surgery when you have been diagnosed. Bear in mind that if your cataracts are associated with diabetes they will worsen faster than average. An eye doctor at Optical Masters can monitor your cataracts to track how they are progressing.