CATARACT

What is Cataract?

A cataract occurs when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurred and decreased field of vision. Contrast and colour perception may also be affected in the early stages.

Cataract is an opacity (cloud formation) of the eye lens, develops due to aging.

Cataract vision

Types of cataracts

Symptoms can vary according to the specific type of cataract. Different cataract types include:

1 Nuclear cataract

Associated with ageing, and forms deep in the nucleus (centre) of the lens.

2 Posterior sub-capsular

Associated with people who have diabetes or have taken high doses of steroids. It forms at the back of the lens.

3 Cortical cataract

This occurs in the lens cortex and is characterised by peripheral clouding which works its way towards the centre of the lens.

Symptoms & signs

The symptoms usually start out mild, and initially have little effect on your quality of life.

The most common indicators of a cataract developing include blurred or misty vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Finding lights too bright or too glaring, either from lamps, the sun or car headlights
  • Finding it harder to see in dim light
  • Experiencing a brown or yellow tinge to your vision
  • Finding colours looking faded and less clear
  • Experiencing double vision
  • Seeing a circle of light (haloes) around bright lights

Cataracts are usually not painful and rarely cause irritation or redness, although in advanced cases, they may be associated with raised intraocular pressure leading to symptoms of pain, nausea and vomiting.