What are Cataracts?

Cataracts

Inside the eye, there is a clear lens that allows light to pass through and focus on the retina, in order for you to see. A progressive clouding of this lens is known as a cataract. As the lens becomes hazy, it impacts the ability of light to pass through, which affects your vision.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts can be caused by several different things:

  • Aging- most people over the age of 65 will show signs of cataracts.
  • Extended exposure to UV light (not wearing sunglasses!). Australia has a much higher UV level than many other countries due to our thinner ozone layer. Additionally, in developing countries where sun protection is uncommon or unheard of, the incidence of cataracts is higher.
  • Trauma or surgery to the eye
  • Certain medications
  • Medical complications during pregnancy- in rare conditions, a baby may be born with cataracts if the mother contracts rubella during pregnancy.

How Do I Know if I Have Cataracts?

Having regular eye examinations with your optometrist will tell if you have cataracts or not. Typical signs of cataract development include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to glare, both during the day and whilst driving at night.
  • A change in vision.
  • A milky haze over your eyes

Vision loss due to cataracts occurs very gradually- which means it’s almost impossible for you to detect. That’s why after 65, we recommend yearly eye exams to monitor for any subtle vision changes.

Will My Cataracts Get Worse?

Typically yes. With time, the clouded area in the lens becomes bigger and denser, which impacts vision more and more. Cataracts can develop at different rates in each eye and progresses quicker for different people. Having regular eye examinations is important to monitor cataracts, and will help your optometrist determine when it’s time to have them removed. At Optometrist Parramatta, we use digital retinal photography to accurately monitor the development of your cataracts.

Can I Prevent or Slow Down Cataracts?

As cataracts are typically caused by aging and long-term UV exposure, there is no sure-fire way to prevent cataracts from developing. Minimise UV exposure (particularly in high UV areas such as Australia) by always wearing sunglasses when outside.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

When cataracts begin to affect everyday tasks such as night driving, your Optometrist may suggest you undergo a cataract operation and refer you to an ophthalmologist. In most cases, cataract surgery is a minor procedure performed under local anaesthetic where the cloudy lens is removed and a new lens inserted. Patients often go home on the same day. After the surgery vision is usually remarkably improved.

After cataract surgery, your vision will be markedly improved. Many patients find they no longer need glasses to see, or that they only need a pair of reading glasses to help with fine tasks.

Can Cataracts Come Back After Surgery?

No. The artificial lens that is inserted into the eye cannot go cloudy. However, sometimes your ophthalmologist may need to perform a quick laser procedure a few months after the cataract surgery to tweak your vision.

If you’d like more information on managing cataracts, drop in or make an appointment today!

affordable dry eye treatment - dry eye clinic
Eye Health and Education

Affordable Dry Eye Treatment in Sydney

Have you ever experienced a persistent itch in your eyes that just won’t go away? Do your eyes often feel dry and irritated? You could be in need of dry eye treatment at our Sydney practice.

Read More »
Questions to ask dry eye optometrist, Sydney
Eye Health and Education

Top Questions to Ask Your Dry Eye Optometrist

Ever felt like no matter what you do, your eyes just can’t seem to stay moisturized? Do you find yourself using eye drops more often but still not getting relief? It might be time for you to meet with a dry eye optometrist.

Read More »
Nulids eye cleansing kit
Eye Health and Education

NuLids Treatments at Our Dry Eye Clinic

Are you curious about the latest advancements in dry eye treatments?At Optometrist Parramatta we offer patients an innovative, affordable and low maintenance solution to dry and irritated eyes – NuLids eyelid cleansing.

Read More »
astigmatism ortho k correction
Eye Health and Education

Ortho K for Astigmatism

Have you ever wondered if there’s a non-surgical solution to correct your astigmatism overnight? Contrary to popular belief, correcting astigmatism doesn’t always require invasive treatment. Orthokeratology (a.k.a. Ortho K) offers one such alternative.

Read More »
misight vs ortho k lenses
Eye Health and Education

Ortho K vs MiSight Contact Lenses

Have you ever wondered why your child’s vision seems to worsen every year despite regular check-ups? In this article we are going to compare the popular daily disposable contact lens brand; MiSight vs Ortho-K lenses, as myopia control options.

Read More »
ortho-k-vs-lasik
Eye Health and Education

Ortho-K vs LASIK For Adults

In this article we are going to compare these two popular choices for vision correction among adults who prioritize clear vision and freedom from daytime corrective eyewear.

Read More »