What is a Cataract?

One of the most common eye conditions is the cataract. When the natural lens in the eye become cloudy, blurry vision is the result.

 

The lens of the human eye is located behind your iris. It is made of water and proteins, giving it a transparent appearance. A cataract can be observed as a white cloudy ball in the centre of the iris.

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Who is at risk?
  • Cataracts are part of the natural ageing process.

  • Cataracts can arise from eye injuries or as a complication from diseases like glaucoma and diabetes.

  • Other causes can be excessive UV exposure, x-rays, radiotherapy radiation and prolonged use of eye drops and corticosteroid inhalers.

  • Infants can also inherit or develop cataracts during pregnancy due to infections in the mother.

Causes

Cataracts are caused by structural changes in the lens proteins. Over time the lens will become increasingly cloudy and will be seen as white patches right in the centre of the pupil.

Symptoms

These are the most common symptoms of cataracts:

  • Cloudy and blurred vision

  • Colours appear faded

  • Glare 

  • Poor night vision

  • Seeing multiple images

  • Frequent need to change your eye prescription. 

What happens if left untreated?

If not treated by surgery, vision loss will become worse and lead to blindness. There is no conservative treatment.

 

Diagnosis

To assess the impact on your vision we need to test your visual acuity. A simple eye chart test from a distance is carried out for each eye. We will then perform a more detailed eye examination to help assess the severity of the cataracts. 
 
This usually involves a slit lamp microscope examination to examine the structures in front of the eye (the lens and cornea). We may also perform a retinal examination (the light-sensitive layer at the back of your eye) for further confirmations. 

Treatment

There is only one treatment option for cataracts and that is surgery. This is because of the severity of the disease and life impact of leaving cataracts untreated. We perform small incision cataract surgery to treat cataracts.

Surgery replaces the cloudy lens inside your eye with an artificial lens using advanced phacoemulsification with micro-incision or femtosecond laser.

We use the latest measuring equipment (Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography) to achieve precise eye measurements. This enables our surgeons to provide accurate and detailed assessment of the condition of the cataracts.

Mid North Coast Eye Clinic

Port Macquarie: 163 Lake Road

Taree: 48-52 Manning St

Coffs Harbour: 1/73 Albany St

Grafton: 1/12 King St

Call us on 1300 898 935

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