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Cataracts: more than meets the eyes

A cataract occurs when the crystalline lens in your eye becomes foggy. A normally transparent lens is responsible for the transmission and focussing of light to the back of your eye, the retina. A cataract lens is painless and the fogging may affect any part of the lens. In fact, all human beings will have a cataract in old age! 

Symptoms for cataracts usually begin at around 60 years of age. They may include: 

  • A lessened reliance for reading glasses in old age 
  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Inability to see fine detail, blurriness
  • Poor night vision
  • Change in colour perception 

A cataract is progressive. This means that it will get worse over time. It may or may not impact your day-to-day activities and may impact you if you are looking to revise your driver’s licence. This is why it is important to discuss with your optometrist the management options. Surgical options are also possible to remove the foggy lens altogether to replace it with a new one!

Cataracts may sound daunting, but Jeanne Clament, the world oldest person at 122 years and 164 days, also had cataracts too! She decided not to have surgery, but it comes to show that old age doesn’t mean life stops! You can find out more about her here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Calment

Having an eye examination every year with your optometrist is important for the screening, and tracking of progression of any condition that may affect vision in old age. It is also important that you contact your optometrist immediately if you observe any symptoms or change in your sight. Medication and systemic illness may also pose as risk factors for a number of diseases in old age. 

To see one of our optometrists for an eye examination or to find out more, contact us on 9728 7288.

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