A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. Symptoms may include faded colours, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night.
Cataracts are most commonly due to ageing, but may also occur due to trauma or radiation exposure, be present from birth, or occur following eye surgery for other problems.
Risk factors include diabetes, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and alcohol.
Either clumps of protein or yellow-brown pigment may be deposited in the lens reducing the transmission of light to the retina at the back of the eye.
Diagnosis is by an eye examination done by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. Patients very rarely lose vision or an eye due to cataract surgery complications and are then fitted with an artificial eye or scleral shell artificial eye, depending on the type of surgery the Ophthalmologist has to perform for them.
Millions of patients are fitted successfully with intra ocular lenses by their Ophthalmologist, and there are often underlying conditions as well as the cataract that cause the sort of complications that would result in loss or sight of the eye. The Ophthalmologist discusses these complications before surgery is performed.
Every now and then we get a patient who has lost their eye through infection after cataract surgery. Remember to use the medication prescribed by the Ophthalmologist as instructed after any surgery.