A cataract is not a visible film on the outside of the eye, and you may not even be aware that it is developing, as they usually develop over time. Common symptoms include:
- Deterioration of your distance and reading vision
- Hazy, fuzzy, blurred or double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light and glare
- Difficulty driving at night
- Little improvement in vision, even with stronger glasses
Causes of cataracts
Cataracts occur quite naturally as a result of the ageing of the eye, and diagnosis in adults over 40 is quite normal. They can also sometimes occur in infants and children as a congenital defect.
Normally, the lens at the front of the eye focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, creating a sharp image. When the lens becomes cloudy, light can’t pass through freely, which is why your vision becomes blurred.
Contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not caused by over-use of the eyes, nor can they be made worse by using the eyes.
Compare the two images below:
As a cataract forms, the lens becomes opaque and light cannot easily be transmitted to the retina.
Fortunately, cataract operations are now faster and safer than ever. Thanks to the pioneering no-stitch surgical techniques we use at Eye Institute there’s no need to stay overnight in hospital – in fact, you could be home within an hour of your cataract surgery.
Not all cataracts require treatment, but if your vision is affected to the point where it interferes with your work or lifestyle, you should consider surgery. It makes a huge difference.