A cataract develops when the crystalline lens in the eye slowly begins to yellow with age and ultimately becomes cloudy, preventing light that enters the eye from reaching the retina properly, causing blurry or hazy vision.
As you get older, the cataract can worsen and begin to affect everyday life, further increasing the need for cataract removal surgery. The procedure is highly common and is frequently performed by the NHS. It involves the removal of the cloudy part of the lens and inserting an artificial implant in its place, called an intraocular lens, to improve the vision and ability to see clearly.
The main symptoms of cataracts are blurry or cloudy vision, glare from bright lights, loss of contrast and colour and occasionally double vision.
There are different types of cataracts that can occur in your eye, the most common being Nuclear Sclerotic cataract, better known as age related cataract, which involves the yellowing and hardening of the lens. Others include Subcapsular cataract and Cortical cataract.
The main causes of cataracts are; age; long standing exposure to ultraviolet light; family history; diabetes; hypertension; and smoking. Long Standing use of steroids or previous eye surgery can also be contributing factors in causing cataracts.