CLOUDY VISION DUE TO AGEING EYES
What is a cataract, and how can fixing it be an opportunity?
A cataract is an opacity that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye. Early on in the development of age-related cataract the power of the crystalline lens may be increased, causing Short-sightedness (myopia), and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss and are potentially blinding if untreated.
Symptoms of cataracts
The lens in the eye can become cloudy and hard, a condition known as a cataract. Cataracts may cause blurred vision, dulled vision, sensitivity to light and glare, and/or ghost images.
Cataracts can cause sleep disturbance. Cataract reduces the amount of blue light entering your eye. The blue light is needed to stimulate special receptors in your eye which help to set your body clock which controls your waking/sleeping cycle.
Symptoms of cataract include
- Vision loss
- Short-sightedness (myopia)
- A reduction of the perception of blue colours
How would you know if you have a cataract?
You might have a cataract and not even know it. It’s a gradual process; however, you may find that the quality of your vision will start to decline. You will usually notice this at night.
How does cataract surgery work?
The lens of the eye can become cloudy and hard, a condition known as a cataract. Cataracts can develop from normal ageing, from an eye injury, or if you have taken medications known as steroids.
Cataracts may cause blurred vision, dulled vision, sensitivity to light and glare, and ghost images. If the cataract changes vision so much that it interferes with your daily life, the cataract may need to be removed.
Cataract surgery is the only way to remove a cataract.
You can decide not to have the cataract removed. If you don’t have the surgery, your vision loss from the cataract will continue to get worse.
Treatment of cataracts
At the Custom Vision Clinic, we see cataract surgery as an opportunity to create significant and long-lasting benefits for you. By using the latest technologies, many of our patients see better than they did, even before they developed the cataract.
If the cataract changes vision so much that it interferes with your daily life, the cataract may need to be removed. Cataract surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. You can decide not to have the cataract removed. If you don’t have the surgery, your vision loss from the cataract will continue to get worse.
The goal of cataract surgery is to correct the decreased vision that was caused by the cataract. During the cataract surgery, we remove the cataract with high-frequency ultrasound through a small incision and put in a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL.
Cataract surgery will not correct other causes of decreased vision, such as glaucoma, diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration. Many people still need to wear glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery for either near and/or distance vision and astigmatism.
Frequently asked questions about cataracts
Modern cataract surgery is so advanced that it is possible to remove the lens through a tiny incision and replace it with a plastic lens, which is folded through the tiny incision and unfolded inside the eye.
The latest generation of plastic intraocular lenses can provide clear vision for distance and for near. The results have become so good that patients find not only an improvement in their quality of vision but also significantly increased independence from spectacles.
Further information about cataracts
About the author
Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS
I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.