... ... Cataracts

Cataracts

This is a common condition where vision becomes cloudy or blurred due to clouding within the eye’s lens; it also causes an increase in symptoms of glare whilst driving especially when the sun is low in the sky such as in spring and autumn. The lens is the oldest part of the body and unlike other tissues such as muscle and bones, the lens fibres never regenerate - they are made mostly of proteins and the ageing process causes the fibres to denature (a bit like cooking an egg) and this causes the lens to become less transparent over time (and thicker and less flexible which is why we need reading glasses in middle age); however you can take precautions by not smoking and limiting exposure to the sun – always wear uv protective sunglasses — and eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidant vitamins.

Cataracts develop over a number of years and problems may at first be unnoticeable. They often occur in both eyes, although each eye may be affected differently. Wearing the correct eyewear such as specialist varifocals or reading glasses can help, but utimately cataracts are often removed by surgery and replaced with a new artificial lens.
Stacks Image 14449
Normal Vision
Stacks Image 14454
Vision affected by Cataracts
Diagram explaining cataracts

Symptoms


• blurred or misty vision (even while wearing spectacles)
• colours might seem faded
• sensitivity to light/difficulty driving at night due to glare from bright lights
• cataracts are not painful and not result in red or irritated eyes