What are cataracts?

Cataracts refer to the opacification of the eye's lens, resulting in blurred vision, challenges with low-light visibility, and eventual vision impairment if not addressed. This ailment typically progresses gradually and may impact one or both eyes. Although cataracts predominantly afflict older adults, they can also manifest in younger individuals due to causes like injury, specific medications, or underlying health issues.

What are the signs of cataracts?

Signs of cataracts may vary depending on the stage and severity of the condition. Early symptoms often include blurred or cloudy vision, increased sensitivity to glare, difficulty seeing at night, and seeing halos around lights. As the cataract progresses, vision may deteriorate further, making it challenging to perform daily activities such as reading or driving. Colours may appear faded or yellowed, and frequent changes in eyeglass prescription may be necessary.

How do you diagnose cataracts?

The diagnosis of cataracts typically entails a thorough eye examination conducted by a skilled ophthalmologist or optometrist. Throughout this examination, the eye care specialist will evaluate visual acuity, inspect the lens for cloudiness, and assess the general health of the eye. Specialised tests, including slit-lamp examination and optical coherence tomography (OCT), may also be employed to generate precise images of the eye's internal structures, aiding in the diagnosis of cataracts.

How do you treat cataracts?

The main method for addressing cataracts entails surgical intervention, which focuses on removing the opaque lens and substituting it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure usually performed on an outpatient basis with local anaesthesia. During the surgery, a small incision is made in the eye, the cloudy lens is fragmented utilising ultrasound or laser technology, and the fragments are then removed before the insertion of the IOL. Patients frequently experience enhanced vision shortly after the surgery and can typically return to their normal activities within a few days. In certain instances, immediate surgical intervention may not be necessary for cataracts, and lifestyle adjustments such as wearing anti-glare-coated eyeglasses or utilising brighter lighting may offer temporary vision improvement. Nonetheless, cataract surgery remains the most effective long-term solution for restoring clear vision and enhancing the quality of life for those affected by cataracts.



1. Are cataracts preventable?

Although cataracts represent a natural aging process and may not always be preventable, individuals can take proactive measures to lower their risk or postpone the onset of this condition. These steps encompass wearing UV-protective sunglasses, adhering to a nutritious diet abundant in antioxidants, ceasing smoking habits, controlling underlying medical issues like diabetes, and scheduling routine eye check-ups to monitor eye wellness.

2. Is cataract surgery safe?

Cataract surgery stands as one of the safest and most commonly performed surgical procedures globally. The likelihood of complications is minimal, and the majority of patients undergo substantial specialised enhancement post-surgery. Modern advancements in surgical techniques and technology have further enhanced the safety and success rates of cataract surgery.

3. How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

Patients generally undergo swift recovery after cataract surgery, often noticing enhanced vision within a few days. Although some initial discomfort or irritation may occur, it typically dissipates promptly. Following surgery, individuals are counselled to refrain from vigorous activities and lifting heavy objects for a brief period and adhere diligently to their surgeon's post-operative directives to enhance healing and achieve optimal visual results.