Quick facts about Cataracts
Cataracts are a leading cause of vision impairment
The rate of Cataracts doubles with each decade after 40 years
Effective surgery is available to Australians
Cataracts are still a leading cause of vision impairment in Australia, despite effective surgery being readily available to those who have the condition.
A Cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that results in blurry vision, faded colours and sensitivity to light. Cataracts related to age usually develop slowly and affect both eyes at different rates.
While the condition most commonly occurs in those are older as a result of the aging process, it can also develop in young people from birth conditions or trauma to the eye.
Effects of Cataracts
Cataracts affect both near and distance vision. While there may be no impact on vision in the early stages, a number of symptoms can become present.
The effects of Cataracts can include:
- Trouble seeing traffic when crossing the road
- Difficulty driving
- Problems reading
- Difficulty judging depth
- Colours look dull or faded
- Sensitivity to glare and light, especially during bright daylight
- Problems seeing at night with double vision around light
“I had Cataracts and then lost my sight quite suddenly. Now I only see shadows. I still get out and travel a lot so having a Guide Dog is a big help with getting around.”
Who is at risk?
You may have a higher risk of developing Cataracts if you have a family history, diabetes, are a smoker or have smoked in the past, or if your eyes have often been exposed to direct sunlight without protection.
In the early stages of Cataracts, glasses may help to improve your vision. In more serious cases, surgery to remove the Cataract may be effective to restore vision.
Regular eye examinations are important for all Australians, and essential for those suffering from eye disease or vision impairment.