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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are the clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are not a skin or growth in the eye, but are due to a breakdown of proteins in the lens.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Most commonly, the symptoms of cataract are blurred, cloudy vision. People with cataracts may also experience increased sensitivity to glare, double vision or ghosting of images and a reduction in the vividness of colors.
What causes cataracts?
Most cataracts are caused by ageing. Cataracts can also occur as a result of damage to the eye, inflammation inside the eye, some medications and medical conditions. In babies, congenital cataracts are due to malformation of the lens.
Who gets cataracts?
Cataracts are most common in people over 60 years of age. By the age of 90, almost all people have some level of cataract. Babies can be born with congenital cataracts if there has been abnormal development of the lens. One or both eyes may be affected.
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Cataracts can be detected in an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. In some cases, cataracts may be detected quite a long time before a person notices any symptoms.
How are cataracts treated?
In the early stages, cataracts may not require any treatment, other than making sure your glasses prescription is up to date and wearing tinted lenses if glare is a problem. Cataract surgery is a relatively minor procedure in which the lens containing the …
Can cataracts be prevented?
Because most cataracts are part of the normal ageing process, they cannot be completely prevented. Not smoking, wearing sunglasses to reduce overexposure to the sun (ultraviolet light) and managing conditions that can contribute to the formation of cataracts …
Are cataracts serious?
Most cataracts develop slowly and don't pose any risk to the eye's health. However, they can cause a reduction in vision that won't go away unless treated. Rarely, in very advanced cases, the lens capsule can break down and the contents of the lens will begin to leak …
About this article
Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
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