What is cataract?
A cataract is a progressive clouding of eye’s natural lens. It causes a gradual blurring of vision, usually described as looking through a piece of wax paper. This diminishes vision & affects quality of life.
Cataracts are extremely common & most cataracts are a result of the aging process.
In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy, the image striking the retina becomes blurry. The extent of the visual disturbance is dependent upon the degree of cloudiness of the lens.
Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes. Individuals with a cataract in one eye usually go on to develop the cataract in the other eye as well.
Cataract is not contagious & can not spread from one eye to the other or from person to person. They are neither painful nor make the eye itchy or red. Although vision can be restored in most people with cataracts.
If the lens is totally opaque it is termed as “mature” cataract. Any cataract that is not completely opaque is therefore termed an “immature” cataract. Most mature cataracts are white in color.
Types of cataracts:-
- Age related cataracts
- Non-age related cataracts.
- Cloudy or Blured vision which is not fully correctable with glasses
- Sensitivity to bright lamps or sunlight
- Glare or Haloes may be observed
- Poor night vision
- Frequent changes in eye glass prescription
- Difficulty in driving especially at night.
- Multiple images of same object/double vision may be noticed in affected eye