A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that can impair your vision. Cataracts occur when there is a build-up and change in the protein in the lens so it becomes cloudy. This prevents light from passing through the lens causing some loss of vision. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss.
Are you at risk?
You are at an increased risk of cataracts if you:
- Are older than 45
- Have a family history of cataracts
- Are a smoker
- Are a heavy user of alcohol
- Are exposed to air pollution
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts often form slowly and cause few symptoms. When symptoms are present, they can include:
- Cloudy, blurry, foggy or filmy vision
- Rapid advance of nearsightedness
- Changes in the way you see colour
- Problems driving at night
- Problems with glare
- Double vision
- Rapid temporary improvement in close-up vision
There is no proven way of preventing cataracts. They are common in older adults so if you fit into this age group you should get your eyes examined regularly.