Understanding Cataracts

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a painless eye condition that has a progressive effect on your vision. Whilst they are usually age-related, they can occur at any age. However, for the purposes of this article, the focus is on age-related cataracts.

Cataracts develop slowly with the lens of your eye becoming cloudy or ‘frosted’ like privacy glass. Over time, the cloudy patches get bigger resulting in decreased vision, and eventually complete loss of vision.

Typically, both eyes will be affected although not necessarily at the same time.

What are the symptoms?

It is important to be aware of the symptoms in order to ensure that you seek professional advice at an early stage.

You may notice a deterioration in your vision, with blurriness that makes you wonder if your glasses are dirty! As the cloudiness of the lens increases, you may experience double vision. It is also likely that you will find it harder to see clearly on sunny days or in bright light. Another common symptom of cataracts is distorted colour perception with the world taking on a slightly yellow tone.

What to do if you are experiencing any symptoms

Any change to your vision should act as a trigger to seek expert advice. Cataract symptoms are also present in other eye conditions so don’t delay making an appointment with us.

During your eye test, we will use state-of-the-art equipment and our thorough examination processes to assess the extent to which your vision is affected. This examination will also help to rule out other eye, or health, conditions which may have similar symptoms.

Treating cataracts

When cataracts have been diagnosed, your optometrist will discuss your treatment options with you. Surgery is the only treatment path that is proven to be effective although, in the early stages, stronger glasses may be sufficient for a while.

However, it is important to remember that cataracts get worse over time so you will, at some point, require surgery.

Cataract surgery

Cataract surgery may sound daunting, but it is one of the most common NHS surgical procedures. It is usually carried out under local anaesthetic and wouldn’t generally require an overnight stay in hospital. You will require some after-care which your surgeon will discuss with you.

This short video shows Sue Wassall talking about her own experience of cataract surgery.

What to do now

If you are concerned that you may be developing cataracts or have noticed any changes to your vision, make an appointment for a sight test. As with many eye conditions, your outcomes will be much better the sooner you act. Our team is extremely experienced and will be happy to help answer your questions.

Simply call 02392 550723 for Lee-On-The-Solent or 01329 832706 for Wickham to arrange a convenient appointment.