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  • 08 Feb, 2021

    Cataracts

    What are cataracts?
    A cataract is a condition which causes clouding of the clear lens in the eye and is the leading cause of vision impairment among older Australians.


    What causes cataracts?
    As we age, the clear proteins in the lens lose their transparency and become cloudier, making it difficult to see. Cataracts begin forming in our 50s but generally don’t require treatment until the mid 70s and will usually progress in one eye a little more quickly than the other.

    Beyond aging, other contributors can include:


    What are the symptoms?
    In its early stages, a cataract may have little to no impact on your vision. Over time however, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

    • Blurred vision
    • Sensitivity to glare or bright lights
    • Difficulty seeing in dim lighting
    • Double vision
    • Fading of colours

     

    Detection and treatment types
    Cataracts develop over a number of years and can go unnoticed without an eye test which is why it’s important to maintain your regular eye examinations.

    A number of treatments are available however what will be most suitable for each individual will vary from person to person. Treatments can include:

    • New prescription glasses
    • Visual aids for magnification
    • Suitable lighting
    • Surgery

    Surgery needs to be considered once your cataracts start to significantly affect your vision and daily life.


    Cataract surgery
    Your optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist so they can assess your suitability for cataract surgery. During the surgery, the eye surgeon will remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). The whole process takes about half an hour and you will be able to go home the same day. You will need someone with you to take you home as driving is prohibited.

    Like any surgery, there is always an element of risk however your ophthalmologist will go through these with you based on your personal circumstances so you can make an informed decision.

    The vast majority of patients have a high level of success with surgery however you should only proceed with such treatment if you feel comfortable.


    Do I need eyewear after cataract surgery?
    Surgery can reduce your dependency on glasses, but glasses may still be required for fine print, night driving or to correct any residual blur or double vision.


    Next steps
    If you’re experiencing vision loss or have concerns, book an appointment with your local EyeQ optometrist. Your optometrist will conduct a thorough eye examination using the latest diagnostic equipment and provide you with recommendations on how to best manage your eye health.

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ALCON CONTACT LENSES

Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.