Cataract is a common eye condition and the main cause is age. However, smoking and exposure to sunlight have been linked to getting cataract. Younger people can develop cataract if they have an injury to the eye or if they have some medical conditions like diabetes. A very small number of babies are born with cataract.
Cataract occurs when the clear lens inside the eye becomes cloudy or misty. This is a gradual process and it doesn’t hurt!
The early stages of cataract usually do not affect vision. Thought, many people with cataract notice a change in their prescriptions. Car headlights and streetlights can become dazzling. Colours may look different too and become faded or yellowed.
To try to prevent cataracts, or to stop them getting worse, good quality sunglasses with full UV protection and giving up smoking can help.
If eyesight cannot be improved enough by changing glasses, the only proven treatment for a cataract is surgery. The surgery is carried out under a local anaesthetic and is very safe. Once the cataract has been removed, it will not return.
During a routine eye examination cataract can be spotted and based on its stage the optometrist can advice the patient. For more information about cataract please ask your optometrist.