WHAT IS A CATARACT?
Inside your eye you have a lens, which allows light to pass through so that it can focus on your retina. This is important for you to be able to see clearly. The lens is mostly made of water and protein. When some of the protein start to clump together, it can cause cloudiness in the lens, impacting the ability of light to pass through. It then causes haziness in your vision. This is called a cataract.
WHAT CAUSES CATARACTS?
- Extended exposure to UV light (therefore not wearing sunglasses!)
- Certain medications (e.g corticosteroids)
- Uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension
- Family history
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A CATARACT?
One of the procedures that we do when we test your eyes is to look at your lenses. Therefore, a cataract can be diagnosed by coming for an eye evaluation.
Typical signs of cataract development include:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to glare, both during the day and whilst driving at night.
- A change in your vision
WILL MY CATARACTS GET WORSE?
Cataracts develop at different rates. Typically, it does get worse over time. Having regular eye examinations is very important. We will monitor the cataracts, and determine when it is time to have them removed.
HOW ARE CATARACTS TREATED?
In most cases, cataract surgery is a minor procedure performed under local anesthetic where your hazy lens is removed and a new artificial lens inserted. Patients usually go home on the same day. Ophthalmologists tries to fit the correct artificial lens power so that you will no longer need glasses to see, or that you only need a pair of reading glasses.
CAN CATARACTS COME BACK AFTER CATARACT SURGERY?
No. The artificial lens that is inserted into the eye cannot go cloudy again. However, posterior capsule opacification happens in about 20% of cases. This gives similar symptoms than a cataract, but only needs to be treated by a laser procedure. This is a quick, painless procedure done in the ophthalmologist’s office. Vison improves usually within the next day.