A Quick Guide to Cataracts
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss for many adults in Australia. Find out what it is and how your trusted optometrist can diagnose this disorder so you can have it corrected as soon as possible.
Ask our local Optometrists on the Gold Coast: What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are characterised by cloudiness or an opacity of the eye’s lens. It’s like a curtain that blocks out light from entering the eyes, resulting in poor or complete loss of vision. Cataracts develop gradually, so you may think that you don’t have it especially when it doesn’t interfere with your vision yet.
Without surgery to restore your eyesight, symptoms of cataracts will only worsen as you age. Your eyesight starts to blur at first, and then colours look a lot less vibrant. Ordinary tasks, such as reading, recognizing faces, or driving, may become difficult as the cataract worsens.
How Do Cataracts Form?
Let’s look at the anatomy of the eye and how cataracts form.
The lenses of our eyes contain proteins. As we age, these proteins gradually degenerate and thicken, forming an impenetrable wall in the lens of an eye; the formation of a cataract.
The primary cause of this disease is ageing. Middle-age adults and seniors are more likely to develop this disease. Individuals afflicted with endocrine, systemic, and other ocular diseases, are also at a higher risk of having cataracts.
Some medications can trigger the formation of cataracts. Ditto for heavy smokers and heavy drinkers. Injuries to the eye, frequent exposure to UV radiation, and past eye surgery can also increase one’s risk of developing this eye disorder.
Here are some of the easily recognizable symptoms of cataracts.
- Blurry or overall poor vision
- Colours that appear more muted or have a more yellow tinge
- Unable to see properly in the dark
- “Second-sight phenomenon”
- Bright lights now have halos
- Progressive loss of eyesight
Cataract Diagnosis and How to Reverse It
Luckily, this eye disease is easily recognizable. Ophthalmologists and optometrists can even detect them even during the early stages. The opacity in the lens is easily discernible to the naked eye, helping your optometrist confirm your condition.
Optometrists and ophthalmologists can also check your eyes’ lenses for cataracts with ophthalmoscopy or a slit lamp.
Unfortunately, cataract is one of those eye disorders that cannot be treated. Vision impairment and loss can only be reversed via traditional surgical removal of the damaged lens and replacement with a new lens (artificial ones, of course). Cataracts can also be extracted via laser-assisted surgery.
Cataract surgery (either traditional or laser-assisted) takes around 10 to 45 minutes and only requires local anaesthesia. That means you can have your surgery, go home, and recover on the same day.
If you have been diagnosed with a cataract, make sure to consult with an optometrist so we can help you explore the safest surgical option for you.
Expert Eye Care on the Gold Coast
If you’re experiencing poor vision or you’ve noticed that your eyes’ lenses are getting cloudy, then it’s time to visit your trusted optometrists on the Gold Coast. Vision Eye Health has two stores located at the Southport Park Shopping Centre and Runaway Bay Centre, so book an appointment now for healthier eyes.