Clouding of your natural clear lens
What is a cataract?
A cataract is usually caused by a natural ageing process when the lens inside our eye loses its clarity and becomes cloudy. Cataracts can happen at any age but it is more common in people over 60 years of age.
What are symptoms of a cataract and how can it affect your life?
Cataracts usually develop very gradually and often over years. In the early stages, a cataract doesn’t cause any symptoms but as it becomes more mature it causes a variety of symptoms including:
This is the most common reasons people have cataract surgery. But this may not be noticeable by many patient until the vision decreases significantly.
Loss of contrast
This is a gradual process and therefore the brain may adapt to this change and many patients may not notice this loss of contrast. Many people only realise how bad their contrast was after having surgery and regaining sharp vision again.
Frequent prescription changes
You may feel you are wearing the wrong glasses.
Regaining reading vision
This is common when you suddenly notice you don’t need your reading glasses any more.
Problems driving at night
Glare and halos around light, particularly troublesome during night time driving from oncoming vehicles.
What causes cataract?
Age is the most common cause of cataracts. As we get older, we are more likely to have a visually significant cataract. Research shows 30% of people aged 65 years or older have a cataract that is impairing their vision and by age 80over 93% of people have a cataract*. Other causes of cataract include:
*Reference: Liu, Y., Wilkins, M., Kim, T., Malyugin, B. and Mehta, J., 2017. Cataracts. The Lancet, 390(10094), pp.600-612.