Cataracts are a very common eye condition that affect millions of people globally and they are one of the leading causes of blindness today. Cataracts are more commonly found amongst over 40s however they are not just age-related, and you can get them at any age.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or misty resulting in blurring vision. It may affect one or both eyes and can be caused by many factors such as natural ageing, sunlight, medical issues like diabetes, other eye diseases, injury, and some can even be born with them.
The lens comprises of water and proteins. The proteins help to keep the lens clear and lets light pass through it. As our eyes age, some of the proteins can clump and begin to cloud areas of the lens. Over time it may grow and cloud more areas of the lens, making it increasingly difficult to see.
During its earlier stages your sight is not necessarily affected however as the condition progresses, your sight worsens causing several issues. It is best to catch the condition early so that your ophthalmologist may decide the most appropriate time for surgery and befitting lenses.
Some of the first signs of cataracts include clouded, blurred or dimmed vision, a frequent need to change glasses or contact lens prescription, difficulty with night-time vision, and glare which occurs because the cataract scatters light as it enters the eye. You may also notice increased sensitivity to bright lights and sometimes even see haloes around lights.
If you notice any of the mentioned signs or any changes in your vision, it is important to seek professional advice. Scheduling an eye examination with your ophthalmologist will help to detect any developing cataracts or underlying eye conditions.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
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