Unless you have experienced them first hand or have a loved one who has experienced cataracts, the likelihood is that you don't know too much about cataracts and what they are. Let alone the treatment available for them.
A cataract is clouding of the lens. Your vision can become blurred due to this cloudiness that the cataract causes at the back of your eye(s).
What is the lens?
The lens is part of the eye that is located behind the iris. The lens on the eye actually bend light rays so that your retina is given a clear image. If you lens is damaged in anyway, it can affect your vision and how you see.
What causes a cataract?
Although cataracts can form at any age, we find that cataracts generally form as we age. If a younger person has a cataract(s), this can be due to hereditary reasons, from an injury, certain drugs or illness such as diabetes.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
Whilst there are many symptoms associated with cataracts, you may notice that your vision is affected and this is one of the earlier symptoms. For example when you look at things, it may be a similar experience as if you were looking through dirty glasses or you may notice that your vision isn't as sharp and maybe a bit blurred.
Noticing that your vision suffers in bright light could also be a sign of a cataract forming. As the cataract develops, it becomes yellow and therefore can give things you see a more yellow tinge.
Diagnosis of cataract
It's extremely important that you maintain regular eye checks with your optician or optometrist. They are best equipped to spot cataracts forming in the eye and early diagnosis is best for treatment.
Treatment of cataracts
Please don't panic or worry if you have recently been diagnosed with a cataract. There are some fantastic treatments available to you and with the right support from your GP, you can get assessed and your treatment options will be discussed with you.
There is a very effective treatment available which can remove the cloudy lens. This is a small operation. Once the cloudy lens has been removed in the operation, a plastic lens can be fitted. If for whatever reason, a plastic lens isn't suitable for you or your eye, then you will be prescribed contact lenses or glasses instead.
If you do have an operation to remove the cloudy lens, this is usually performed with local anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 1 hour.
Recovery in general can take a few months but you should notice improvements to your sight within a few days of the operation.
After your cataract operation, it's extremely important that you protect your eyes from the suns rays and glare. This is due to the lens lacking protection from the sun.
Although sunglasses can offer some protection, they won't be able to offer protection to the side or the top of your eyes. We would recommend you look at our Anti-glare and contrast enhancement range to offer full protection post operation.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one who may have issues with their vision or are experiencing sight loss, we recommend you visiting your GP or optician in the first instance.
Sandra Taylor, Marketing & Executive Coach. Developed solutions to improve the lives of people living with sight loss for over 20 years.