Cataract surgery – symptoms and treatment

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are clouding in the lens of your eye; they do not cause any pain but you will experience blurred or frosty vision.

Symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts affect mostly people over the age of 60; the symptoms of cataracts are:

  • Blurred and misty vision
  • You may experience some sensitivity to light such as sunlight and headlights of a car – a halo may appear around lights
  • You may also experience faded or washed out vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts can occur at any time in life but most commonly after the age of 60, research is still taking place in establishing cataracts causes but as of yet scientists still do not know why they occur. Limited research has led some to believe that smoking, alcohol, poor diet and excessive exposure to sunlight may cause cataracts.

Types of cataracts?

The most common type of cataract is age-related cataracts but they can also occur in young people as well due to diabetes, medication and longstanding eye problems. Cataracts can also be present in birth – this is called congenital cataracts.

Removing cataracts

As you may have guessed, the only option of cataracts removal is a cataract operation. The cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a new artificial lens. Cataracts are only removed when they start to interfere with everyday life. There is no rush in going for surgery and delaying it will not damage eyes or make the operation difficult. If you have cataracts in both eyes they will usually be treated one at a time between four to eight weeks apart.

Surgery is usually painless and most choose to stay awake but an anesthetic can be administered if need be. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective as 90% of patients who have had surgery have better vision after the operation. After surgery, your doctor may give you eye drops to help healing and reduce risk of infection.

Like all surgery there are risk. These should be taken into consideration before making a decision. The risks associated with cataract surgery are:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Loss of vision or double vision

If any of the above occur then seek medical attention promptly.