5 things about... Cataracts

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 Chat magazine

A cataract is a clouding of the lens that prevents light reaching the back of the eye, making it difficult to see clearly. Most often cataracts develops as people get older, but swift treatment can restore vision.

What is cataracts?

A cataract is a painless clouding of the eye's lens. It develops over a long period, causing eyesight to gradually get worse. If left untreated, cataracts may lead to blindness.

Is there only one kind of cataracts?

The two main types of cataract are the most common age-related, and cataracts present at birth - congenital cataracts. It's important to get treatment early as congenital cataracts can permanently affect sight.

What are the tell-tale symptoms?

Cataract symptoms include cloudy or fuzzy vision, as if you're looking through a fog. Also, you may see spots or halos from lights or the sun. Colours may seem washed out or faded, too.

Who is most at risk of cataracts?

With age, you're more likely to develop cataracts. Factors that increase the risk include diabetes, smoking, a family history of cataracts or high blood pressure.

Can it be treated?

Cataracts can usually be treated with surgery. The cloudy lens is replaced with a manufactured one. You only need surgery if the cataracts badly affect your vision.

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Where to next?

- What is

- More on cataracts
- Eye health

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