Cataracts are very common. They cloud the lens of the eye, affecting vision, and are usually a consequence of ageing. Sometimes a cataract may form in younger patients as a result of trauma, intraocular surgery, repeated ocular inflammation, high myopia, diabetes, etc. All cataracts require treatment if they affect vision.
The main symptom of a cataract is a progressive decrease in vision. Other symptoms can be a sensitivity to light, difficulty focusing between near and far objects and muted colour vision.
Depending on the size and location of opaque areas on the crystalline lens, the patient may or may not notice the development of a cataract. These are some of the most common symptoms:
- Blurred and sometimes double vision when a cataract is forming.
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light).
- Better vision on cloudy days than on sunny days.
- Glasses are no longer required for near vision.
- Driving at night becomes more difficult.
- Difficulty reading
- Problems recognising faces
- Prescription glasses need to be changed more frequently.
- After the age of 50, myopia may worsen, or alternatively, eyesight may inexplicably improve. This occurs because the cataract can cause some changes to the lens, creating a magnifying glass effect.