Explained: What are cataracts and how do they form?

Cataracts, a term that often surfaces in conversations about ageing and vision, are more than just a buzzword. They are a significant eye condition that affects millions worldwide. In this post, we’ll delve into what cataracts are and how they form, providing clear insights into this common eye issue.

What Are Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens of the eye is crucial for focusing light onto the retina, which then sends visual signals to the brain. In a healthy eye, this lens is clear, allowing for sharp, crisp images. However, when a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy, leading to a decrease in vision.

How Do Cataracts Form?

Cataracts primarily develop due to ageing. As we age, the proteins in the lens of our eyes can clump together, forming cloudy areas. This gradual process usually begins around the age of 40 and progresses over time. The severity of cataracts can vary – some remain small and hardly impact vision, while others can become more extensive and significantly impair sight.

Apart from age, other factors can contribute to the development of cataracts. These include:

  • Genetics: A family history of cataracts can increase your risk.
  • Medical conditions: Diabetes and other medical conditions can contribute to their development.
  • Lifestyle choices: Smoking and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight can accelerate cataract formation.
  • Eye injuries or surgeries: Past injuries or surgeries can make the eye more susceptible to cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurred or dim vision
  • Increased difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colours

Cataracts are a natural part of ageing but don’t have to be a roadblock to clear vision. Modern cataract surgery offers a safe and effective solution to restore your sight. Experiencing symptoms like blurred vision or difficulty seeing at night? Don’t wait. Take control of your eye health today.

Book a free assessment with our expert team to discuss your options and pave the way for clearer, brighter vision.

Remember, understanding cataracts is your first step towards a clearer future. Regular eye exams are key, so let’s get started on preserving your vision health together.

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What our patients say…

“I would like to thank you all for looking after me so well”
“Thank you and your team very much indeed for looking after me during my initial visit and the day of cataract surgery.”
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Discover if you can be free from cataracts and glasses

The best way to find out if lifestyle cataract surgery is right for you is to have a free assessment. We’ll examine your eyes and you’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and lens options.