What is Cataracts ?

Cataracts are a condition where, over time, the lens in the eye becomes misty or cloudy.  Cataracts are a very common condition.  The condition can worsen over time.  In a lot of cases, a straightforward operation can remove the misty lens.


Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts usually develop slowly.  In most cases, people will develop the condition on both eyes, although one may be affected sooner than the other.

Common symptoms include:

  • Feeling something is ‘not quite right’ in your eye
  • Feeling that you glasses are dirty
  • Sight becomes misty or unclear
  • Colours can become affected – things have a yellowy tinge
  • Bright lights can dazzle more than they have previously

Causes of Cataracts

The most common cause of cataracts is growing older.  Many people aged 65+ will experience some change in their lens and a significant proportion will develop a cataract at some time.

Other causes include:

  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Medications
  • Eye surgery for other eye conditions

Prevention / Treatment for Cataracts

Surgery for cataract conditions is commonplace.  It involves removal of the ‘misty’ lens and replacement with an artificial lens implant.  Surgery can be performed at any time and Cataract Surgery is available free of charge on the NHS.  Cataract surgery usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes and most people go home from hospital a few hours later.  There is no evidence to suggest that changing your diet, taking vitamins or using eye drops can cure cataracts.  Laser surgery is not used for cataract operations. Without surgery, the condition will worsen over time.


What do I do now?

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, or are worried about the health of your eyes in any way, you need to get your eyes checked by an optometrist (optician).  We recommend you get your eyes checked every 2 years, regardless of whether you have any concerns yourself or not.

50% of sight loss is avoidable – get your eyes tested today!

If you have been diagnosed with Cataracts, there are many ways in which Galloway’s can help you and your loved ones come to terms with the diagnosis and can offer simple practical help with living with the diagnosis and coping with every day life.