Eye Opening Facts About Cataracts

At Optikal, we aim to educate our patients and readers about the various types of eye conditions and especially the symptoms they need to look out for in their vision. Symptoms aren’t always immediately noticeable, however there are certain conditions you should keep an eye out for as they can have devastating effects on overall health if not treated quickly. So don’t suffer unnecessarily, make sure you know what to look for and when you need to come and see one of our experts.

What is Cataract?

Cataracts is a condition in which the proteins in the lens of an eye begin to clump and as a direct result it causes the lens to discolour and darken. This is also the most common reason for sight loss in those who are over 40 and is one of the most common reasons for blindness across the globe.

Few Things You Need to Know

Cataracts can, in fact, alter your vision to the point it becomes blurred – this is the main symptom that everyone should be looking out for when considering the possibility of cataracts. Also due to the discolouration of the lens in the eye, colours might appear less vibrant and darker than before, so when you drive at night you might experience higher amounts of glare from headlights.

Risk Factors That Affect Cataracts Directly:

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Hypertension
  • The high amount of alcohol consumption
  • Previous eye surgery
  • High myopia
  • Family history of cataracts/severe eye conditions

Is There Only One Type of Cataracts?

No, there are 3 different types of cataracts and each one has different effects on people depending on the type they suffer from.

Subcapsular Cataracts: These occur at the back of the lens. If you have diabetes or need to take a high dose of a steroid medication, then you will be at greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.

Nuclear Cataracts: These form deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. This type of cataract is often associated with aging and is the most common type of cataract.

Cortical Cataracts: These are characterised by white, wedge-like tendrils which begin on the edges of the lens and work their way towards the centre. They form in the lens cortex, the part of the lens surrounding the central nucleus.

I Have Cataracts, What Can I Do?

Due to new technology and continuous research into cataracts, there are multiple treatments available for those who are affected – the main one being surgery. Recognising the symptoms early contributes greatly to the recovery and success of the surgery.

One recent study showed that 99% of Cataracs surgeries were successful and only 0.5% had post operative problems.

If you can carry out your daily tasks without a problem, surgery might not be necessary. However, if the symptoms get in your way then surgery might be the best option for you.

The procedure lasts anywhere from 30-45min and is carried out using a local anaesthetic. You’ll usually be able to return home after just a few hours post operation. If you have cataracts in both eyes however, your operation will be split into 2 for each individual eye. This will allow one eye to heal properly before you undergo surgery for the 2nd eye.

If you or anyone you know is suffering with cataracts or with any of the symptoms listed above, please call us immediately on 020 8209 1231 (Temple Fortune), 020 8371 0023 (Finchley) or 017 0766 0808 (Potters Bar) for a confidential discussion on how we can help. Alternatively, please seek the help of your GP or a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Or if you want to book online, click here.