A Vision Therapy Clinic for

  Book Online Now

  Book Online Now

What is Cataract?

Share This Post

What is Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.
Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, but sometimes they only affect one. Most cataracts
usually develop in people over 55, but they can also occur in infants and young children or as a
result of trauma or medications.
Cataracts are the most common cause of loss of vision worldwide, but they are treatable.
Cataracts will not go away on their own. Without proper intervention, they can worsen and may
lead to total vision loss.

What causes Cataract?

The eyes natural lenses are the nearly transparent structures that sit right behind the pupils in the eyes. Their main purpose is to focus and direct light rays onto the retina at the back of the eye. In order to see clearly the natural lenses need to be clear. As we age, particularly  past 55 years, the clear proteins within the lenses also age and turn cloudy causing the whole lens to become cloudy.

Apart from age, other common causes that can lead to cataract are:

  • Excessive UV radiation from sunlight
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Long term use of steroids
  • Previous eye injuries
  • High alcohol consumption

Cataract Symptoms

Cataracts generally form very slowly, often at a pace where a person is totally unaware that their sight is declining.  Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:

  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to light (seeing a glare or ‘halos’ around lights)
  • reduced night vision
  • fading or ‘yellowing’ of colours
  • Frequent changes in glasses prescription or no longer able  to see clearly through glasses, even new glasses

What can you do to reduce the risk of cataracts?

  • From childhood protect your eyes outdoors  with good quality sunglasses that have 100% UV protection
  • Manage any health conditions as well as possible
  • Avoid smoking and reduce alcohol use
  • Eat a well balanced diet high in anti -oxidants- new research shows Vitamin C can slow down cataract progression
  • Maintain an exercise regimen

What can you do to treat  Cataract?

Cataracts are most commonly diagnosed by an Optometrist.  During your regular eye examination your Optometrist  will look at the appearance of the lenses of your eyes and if cataract is found and it deemed to be significant they will discuss treatment options.

In the early stages of cataract in most cases upgrading  your  glasses prescription on a regular basis will return your sight to its best possible level. However once the cataract progresses past a certain point there will not be noticeable vision improvements with glasses upgrades. At this time  a discussion with your  Optometrist will be required to determine your suitability for cataract surgery. 

Cataract surgery, also called ‘lens replacement surgery,’ is one of the most frequently performed eye surgery procedures performed by an ophthalmologist, in the world. It is simple and low-risk. During the eye surgery, the patient’s cloudy lens is replaced with a clear intraocular lens (IOL). Most IOLs are made of silicone or acrylic. The entire procedure takes about thirty minutes and is performed in a day surgery or a hospital.

Once the cataract has been completely removed with surgery, it does not return.

More To Explore

Childrens vision and school learning

Understanding Vision and how it affects learning Good vision and focussing is the key to your child’s learning development and school performance. As a parent,

What is Cataract?

What is Cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.Cataracts usually develop in both