WHAT ARE CATARACTS?
Your lens sits right behind your pupil and its role is to bend the light to reach your retina so that you can see clearly. For your lens to do its job properly, it has to be transparent. When the lens becomes cloudy, this is known as a cataract. Having a cataract can be like looking through a foggy or dirty window and is a leading cause of vision impairment.
While most cataracts are found in people over the age of 50, cataracts can also occur at younger ages. Cataracts may:
- be age-related
- be congenital
- occur secondary to conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes
- result from trauma to the eye
- result from radiation treatment for other diseases, such as cancer
SYMPTOMS OF CATARACTS
Symptoms of cataracts may include:
- blurry or distorted vision
- increased sensitivity to bright light and glare
- faded or washed-out colours
- double vision
- decreased vision in low light
- milky/white spot over the pupil
Because cataracts often progress slowly, you may not know you have a cataract or whether your cataract is making your vision worse. The best way to monitor your cataract is with a regular eye examination with your optometrist, who will help you to maximise your vision, make sure your vision is safe for driving and talk to you about the right time for surgery to have the cataract surgically removed.