What Are Cataracts?

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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.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts are painless and usually cause a gradual worsening of sight. The main symptoms are:

  • Blurring: Your vision may become misty or blurry so that you cannot see details at a distance, or your glasses seem scratched and dirty.
  • Dazzled by lights: You may find that you have poor vision in bright light, suffer from glare, and that bright lights such as car headlights are more blinding than usual.
  • Double vision: You may start to notice double vision for either close or distant objects. Changes in color vision: You may notice that colors appear faded or washed out.

We recommend that you have an eye test every two years, unless your Optometrist advises otherwise.

What Are the Causes?

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.

Treatment Options

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.

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