What causes cataracts?

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre Teresa Anthony explained: “Most cataracts form as part of the natural ageing process. However, illnesses such as diabetes and some medications can contribute to their development.

“Exposure to sunshine and glare from water, without protecting the eyes with a good with good U.V. protection and previous eye surgery can all contribute development.”

So, what should you do if you suspect you have a cataract? Dr Anthony said: “You need a professional eye examination by your optician or ophthalmologist. If your vision can be corrected to an acceptable level with glasses or contact lenses surgery may be avoided for a while.

“If your vision loss cannot be corrected and if this interferes with your daily life, such as driving, watching television and hobbies, then your cataract will need to be removed surgically.”

Cataract surgery sees the cataract removed and an artificial lens called an IntraOcular Lens Implant (IOL) placed into the eye. A choice of lens is offered to the patients during the consultation to match their medical need and lifestyle. Far more than 90 per cent of patients operated on have a significant improvement in their vision.

The operation can be performed at any stage of cataract development. There is no need to wait until your cataract is “ripe” before removing it. Most people choose to have their cataracts removed when the change in their vision starts to cause them difficulties in everyday life.

Cataract surgery usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes and most people go home from hospital about two hours later.

Click here to learn more about Ophthalmology at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre.