A cataract results when the lens in your eye or eyes becomes clouded inhibiting vision. It can affect anyone but is most common among older individuals. The lens focusses light or images on the retina, and for the retina to receive a sharp image, the lens needs to be clear. The lens is usually made up of water and proteins. These proteins may over time clump together forming a cloud. This cloud is what is known as a cataract. Smoking and diabetes can also cause cataracts. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

You may experience blurry or cloudy vision. Colours may seem faded to you, lights from lamps, headlights or even the sun may also seem too bright. You may experience poor night vision and also double vision. If you have any of these symptoms, have diabetes or are a smoker, you need to visit your optometrist for an eye check-up. He or she may perform various tests that include visual acuity tests, dilated eye tests and tonometry tests. Tonometry is a test that measures the pressure in your eye.

Must You Have Surgery?

The severity of your cataract will determine whether you will have surgery or not. If it is detected early, eyeglasses will remedy the problem. At times, glasses may not help, and you may be required to undergo cataract surgery. If you are already experiencing problems such as not being able to read, drive or watch your TV, surgery may be your only option. The operation involves the removal of the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

It can be done when you are either awake or under general anaesthesia. You may feel some discomfort after the surgery, but your doctor will prescribe medication.

Risks and Underlying Conditions

Before the surgery, your eye specialist will explain everything you need to be aware of including risks and what to expect. He or she will help you make informed decisions.

You will be asked several questions to help reduce chances or risks; for example, if you are using any medication or if you are experiencing any other symptoms. You may have another underlying condition that may hinder the surgery success and caution must be taken during this stage. Answer truthfully, taking into consideration that nothing is too small not to be mentioned to your eye specialist.

Other risks that may be common include infections or bleeding. Your eye specialist will be experienced enough to avoid chances of them occurring.