What are cataracts?

The following was written by Bill Evans and published in the Coolum and North Shore News, Ask the Professionals page on Friday, 25th November 2016.

Q: What are cataracts?

A: Cataracts are a haze or a cloudiness that forms in the lens inside of the eye. The lens is normally transparent, however with cataracts the cloudiness obstructs or distorts light entering the eye, causing poor vision. Most cataracts are a result of a lifetime’s exposure to ultraviolet light and ageing. Injury, genetic defects, certain diseases, or even exposure to radiation and toxic materials may cause some cataracts. If left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness, though in most cases the visual effects of cataracts may be reversed with surgery. The patient’s cataractous lens is surgically removed and an artificial lens is inserted in its place. Having an examination by your optometrist will reveal any sign of cataracts in your eyes, and if necessary they will refer you to an ophthalmologist.