Eyesight Changes to watch out for - Cataracts

06 May 2014

Cataracts are caused by the clouding of the lens in the eye which is biologically engineered to be entirely see-through so that light can pass uninterrupted to the back of the eye.

While cataracts are often associated with older patients, it is not uncommon for younger patients to experience symptoms that could signal the formation of cataracts.

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, but with early detection at Optilase Northern Ireland, the possible effects they can have on a person’s eyesight can be minimized.

What causes cataracts?

Your eyes are windows to the outside world, and are responsible for allowing light through so that the brain is able to see.

In order for this to happen the lens in the eye must be clear and transparent, but over time proteins that make up the lens can break down or clump together causing the lens to become cloudy.

While old age and genetics have primarily been thought to influence the development of cataracts, research has also linked oxygen-free radicals to cataract formation.

Certain lifestyle choices such as smoking and environmental factors such as UV light produce large amounts of oxygen-free radicals in the body, which can contribute to the formation of cataracts.

High levels of these radicals can cause chemical reactions in the body which can disrupt or alter the structures of cells, such as those in the lens of the eye.

When the basic structure and appearance of the lens is altered and cataracts form, it can result in a steady deterioration in eyesight unless adequately treated.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The most common symptoms of cataracts are glare, colour distortion and double vision, but other signs include difficulty reading or seeing objects in the distance.

Early detection of cataracts is vital with any changes to the lens being distinguishable during a free eye consultation at any Optilase clinic in Northern Ireland.

When the lens becomes cloudy, incoming light is scattered within the eye which affects vision clarity which can be exacerbated when it comes to procession bright lights, such as oncoming beams when driving at night.

If you have been experiencing difficulty with night time driving, double vision, colour distortion or your eyes have become sensitive to glare, it is important to seek a diagnosis from an eye care professional.

I think I have cataracts, what should I do?

Cataracts begin small and may go unnoticed until they eventually begin to affect a person’s eyesight.

At Optilase clinics in Belfast, Newry and Derry/Londonderry you can avail of a free consultation which will include an examination of the eye to determine if you may be suffering from cataracts.

If you have noticed any vision problems that may signal cataracts, seeking diagnosis and any relevant treatment is always advisable before vision changes become more advanced.

To schedule a free eye consultation at Optilase, call 08000 121 565.

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