You get a Cataract when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy or misty. This is a gradual, painless process that usually happens as we get older. However, smoking and exposure to sunlight have also been linked to people getting cataracts.
Will cataracts affect my vision?
The early stages of cataracts often do not affect your vision. Over time you may notice that your vision is less clear and distinct, car headlights and streetlights can become dazzling and you may experience difficulty moving from shade to sunlit areas.
Can I prevent cataracts?
The best advice to try to prevent cataracts, or to slow down their progress, is not to smoke and wear good quality, well fitting sunglasses with full UV protection. There are various supplements and eye drops on the market that claim to prevent or treat cataracts but their is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Can cataracts be treated?
If your cataract is affecting your day-to-day life and we are unable to improve your vision enough by updating your glasses, you can be referred for surgery.
What does cataract surgery involve?
Most cataract operations are done using a local anaesthetic. The surgeon makes a tiny cut in the eye to remove the cataract and will insert a plastic replacement lens so that you can see clearly. This will usually take around 30 minutes, although it can take longer. Your eye will be covered with a plastic patch to protect it from knocks but you will be sent home the same day.
You will be given eye drops to use for the following few weeks and you should avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise, but can carry on with most of your day to day activities as normal.