What are Cataracts?

Cataracts is an eye condition in which the eye’s lens becomes cloudy and misty. This article explains the causes and symptoms of having cataracts as well as how to treat them.

What are cataracts?

A cataract decreases the vision of your eye. Your natural lens sits behind the iris (the coloured area of the eye). Normally, the lens of an healthy eye is clear and helps to focus the light entering your eye. However, when cataracts start to develop, your sight would gradually become cloudy and misty. Cataracts can affect one or both eyes.


Look out for the symptoms and signs such as:

  • Blurry and cloudy vision – this hinders your ability to read properly, watch television or recognise faces
  • Difficulty coping with bright light, for example the light from the Sun
  • Colours are harder to see and process – colours, especially the shades blue


Causes of cataracts:

In the UK, the most common cause of cataracts is due to ageing. Age-related cataracts affects over half of the population over 65 years old. However there are other causes due to lifestyle factors or your family history.

Examples include:

  • Medical conditions such as: Type 2 diabetes, Obesity
  • Excessive use of alcohol and/or smoking
  • Previous external injuries to the eye
  • Too much exposure to UV light from not wearing sunglasses often
  • Previous cases of cataracts from family history


The only way to fully treat cataracts is by cataract surgery. This is the most common surgery performed regularly in the UK with a very high success rate to improve your eyesight.The process includes replacing the cloudy lens with a new clear plastic one. Cataracts would only worsen overtime if otherwise left untreated, and there are not currently any medication or drops to treat this.

So, if you notice any symptoms of cataracts or any other problems with your vision, make an appointment here at Redgate Opticians.

At Redgate Opticians, we give a thorough eye examination and explain the outcomes of your eye sight to you at the end of every examination. If you have a cataract, our optometrists will be able to see that the lens of your eye is cloudy. We will then refer you to an Ophthalmologist for further treatment such as surgery. An Ophthalmologist is a doctor who specialises in eye health.


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Written by Suchita Kheta