Cataracts

Cataracts are a clouding and hardening of the focusing lens of the eye and it is a common age-related degenerative condition. Initially, it can cause short-sightedness, a blurring of vision and reduce the perception of blue colours, but eventually it can lead to significant vision loss if left untreated.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a clouding and hardening of the focusing lens of the eye and it is a common age-related degenerative condition. Initially, it can cause short-sightedness, a blurring of vision and reduce the perception of blue colours, but eventually it can lead to significant vision loss if left untreated.

What are cataracts?

The development of cataracts is usually a gradual process, so you may not be aware you have a cataract to begin with. Typically, you’ll first notice a change in your vision, often with the onset or worsening of myopia, or short-sightedness.

The focusing lens hardens and becomes opaque so blurred or dulled vision is also a common symptom of cataracts. Patients can also experience sensitivity to light and ghost images. Cataracts can also cause sleep disturbance because it reduces the amount of blue light that enters the eye and blue light helps to control the natural sleep-and-wake cycle.

A subcapsular cataract forms at the back of the lens and diabetics or those taking high doses of steroids have a higher risk of developing a subcapsular cataract. A nuclear cataract forms in the nucleus or centre of the lens and is often associated with ageing.

A cortical cataract typically starts in the periphery of the lens and moves to the centre of the lens.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Cataracts are caused by build-up of proteins in the lens. Sometimes the protein deposits are small and don’t affect your vision, but larger cataracts can block the smooth flow of light. There are several reasons why a cataract might develop. Ageing is a common cause, but cataracts can also form as a result of trauma. They can develop many years after an eye injury.

Diabetes is also a common cause; people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. Raised glucose levels can lead to swelling, affecting vision, and the lens has an enzyme that converts glucose into sorbitol which can cause a build-up of protein.

While age-related cataracts are very common, there are some instances of congenital cataracts, whether inherited or from infection. High blood pressure, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of cataracts.

Prescription glasses cannot cure cataracts, but they can help to correct the vision problems that cataracts cause.

Cataract surgery is the only treatment option for cataracts, as the condition will usually only worsen without surgical management. When vision is significantly affected, the cataract-affected lens is removed surgically and an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted in the eye. Often eyesight is better than before the cataract developed.

CATARACT PROCEDURES

CATARACT SURGERY

London cataract removal surgery

CATARACT SURGERY & RETINAL DISEASE

Cataract removal surgery

YOUR CHOICE OF INTRAOCULAR LENS (IOL)

Cataract surgery