This is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss worldwide. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye goes cloudy or opaque. Around 10% of Australians have cataracts increasing from 4% of 50-59 year old’s to over 60% of 90-year-olds.
Advancing age is the most typical cause.Trauma, radiation exposure some drugs(e.g., steroids) and metabolic conditions (e.g.diabetes) can also lead to cataracts. Womenare more affected than men. IndigenousAustralians, Caribbean or African Americansare more prone than Caucasians. Smokingand excess alcohol consumption are also riskfactors.
Cataracts are classified by their level of maturity(progression), cause, or appearance. Nuclearcataracts are the most common affecting thecentre of the lens. A “mature” cataract is onewhere the whole lens is opaque. Reducedvisual acuity (ability) is the hallmark symptom.The onset is gradual and progression slow butconstant in most instances. If only one eye isaffected, it may not be noticed for quite a whileas the other eye “compensates”.
Cataracts are easily diagnosed onexamination. When looking in the eye withan ophthalmoscope, your doctor can see acataract. Those over 40 are advised a regulareye check with an ophthalmologist who can doThis is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss worldwide. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye goes cloudy oropaque. Around 10% of Australians have cataracts increasing from 4% of 50-59 year old’s to over 60% of 90-year-old’s.other eye assessments simultaneously. Your GP can refer you.
Treatment for cataracts is surgical removal andinsertion of an intra-ocular lens. This is donewhen symptoms warrant it, and prescriptionglasses no longer are helping. This may bemany years from the time of diagnosis.
The procedure is generally done under localanaesthetic, and you will be in and out in a fewhours. Recovery is quick. The eye is padded for ashort period of time, and you will be prescribeddrops post operatively