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What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens within the eye, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. It is not a skin growing over the eye.
The lens is mostly made of water and protein this is arranged in a precise way so that the lens remains clear. However as we age, some of the protein may clump together and cause clouding of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it increases in size and clouds the lens, making it harder to see.
It is extremely common, with more than 50% of those aged 65 and over showing some degree of cataract development.
What are the symptoms?
When a cataract first forms it has little effect on your vision. However, over the course of time it begins to blur vision, particularly when looking towards the sun or oncoming car headlights. It may make reading more difficult and make it difficult to see steps and stairs in poor light.
What can be done?
Most people are suitable for cataract surgery and the procedure is very common. In the past it was necessary to wait until the cataract was ‘ripe’ but now they can be treated as soon as the cataract starts to affect your everyday life.
Regular eye tests at Henry Morgan Opticians will enable us to monitor any changes to your eye health and advise you accordingly.
Is surgery the only treatment for Cataract?
Yes, Surgery is currently the only effective treatment for cataract. There have been suggestions that certain vitamin cocktails can cure cataract but that has not proved successful. Despite popular belief it is not possible to treat cataract with a laser.
Do I have to stay in a darkened room after surgery?
No, these days the procedure is very sophisticated and technically demanding but very successful. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and is mostly carried under local anesthetic. It is usually advisable to wear an eye guard for the first 48 hours afterwards particularly when asleep, and after that you can resume your normal life style (unless you are a heavy weight boxer). Up to date spectacles can be prescribed once you have completed your course of post operative eye drops.
Henry Morgan Opticians work within the direct referral scheme for cataract surgery. Our Clinicians will discuss your options with you and answer any questions you may have. The decision to proceed to treatment is entirely yours.