Cataracts

Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s crystalline lens that usually develops slowly over time. (In the case of post-traumatic cataracts, however, they can also occur very quickly.) It is the leading cause of poor vision in adults.

Symptoms: Dimmed or blurred vision, double vision, halos or glare around lights, colours appearing less brilliant, feeling of a film over the eyes, frequently cleaning eyes, difficulty driving or reading, and frequently changing or cleaning glasses.

Treatment: If a cataract grows larger or denser, it can be surgically removed. It’s a safe procedure with a near 100 per cent success rate. Following surgery, it’s normal to require a change in spectacle correction.

Prevention: Wearing UV protection when outdoors is very helpful. There is also some evidence to suggest that a diet high in beta carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E have preventative benefits. Avoiding cigarette smoke, air pollution and alcohol consumption may also help.

All content is provided for education and information, and is no substitute for the advice of your optometrist. This information is provided courtesy of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists (B.C.A.O.). The B.C.A.O. assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any errors or omissions or from the use of any information contained herein.