What you need to know about Cataracts

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This blog has been contributed Dr. Salman Waqar, Consultant Ophthalmologist in Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery. 

Cataracts are a common age-related eye condition where the eye’s lens becomes cloudy and opaque, affecting vision. The lens is a clear, elastic structure that helps focus light onto the retina, which sends visual signals to the brain. As we age, the lens becomes less flexible and loses its transparency, leading to cataracts.

There are several types of cataracts, including congenital cataracts (present at birth), traumatic cataracts (caused by injury), and secondary cataracts (caused by other eye conditions or diseases). However, the most common type is age-related cataracts, which occur naturally with age.

Cataracts can cause various symptoms, including blurred or hazy vision, glare or halos around lights, double vision in one eye, frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions, fading or yellowing of colours, and difficulty seeing at night. If left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to vision loss.

Cataracts are usually managed through surgery. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to restore vision and improve quality of life.

Before deciding on cataract surgery, an eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine if cataracts cause the patient’s vision problems. If cataracts are diagnosed, the eye doctor will evaluate the extent of the cataract and recommend the best course of treatment.

After cataract surgery, patients typically need eye drops for a few weeks to help prevent infection and inflammation. It is also important to protect the eyes from injury, such as by wearing sunglasses outside. However, most patients experience improved vision within a few days or weeks after surgery.

In conclusion, cataracts are a common age-related eye condition that can cause vision problems. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to treat cataracts and restore vision. If you are experiencing cataract symptoms, you must see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation. With advances in surgical techniques and technology, cataract surgery has become a highly effective way to improve vision and quality of life.