With advancing age, the crystalline lens tends to become less transparent, creating isolated opaque areas which can interfere with vision on different levels.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are a visual disorder caused by clouding of the lens, which results in a significant reduction in visual function.
Symptoms of cataracts
Symptoms commonly associated with the onset of cataracts include blurred or double vision, photophobia (light sensitivity), glare and reduced colour contrast. These may be seen in different daily situations:
- when driving at dusk, you may experience glare when looking at car headlights, traffic lights, or street lights;
- when walking down the street at sunset, you may have difficulty perceiving objects and contrasts in shady areas;
- during daily activities, you may experience blurred vision;
- when reading, you may feel the need to increase the lighting, even during daylight hours.
What do people with cataracts see?
Cataracts result in the feeling of looking through dirty glass. Colours fade, it is difficult to distinguish contours, and your vision appears blurred. You may sometimes even have double vision.
Causes of cataracts
Cataracts are a condition that predominantly affects individuals over the age of 70. The causes of cataracts can be traced to age-related metabolic changes, with specific cases due to genetic forms or trauma. The WHO defines cataracts as the leading cause of blindness and reduced vision worldwide, although it is a reversible condition, at least in more advanced countries.
Treatment for cataracts
At the onset of initial symptoms such as blurred vision or with advancing age, you should visit an ophthalmologist to assess the flexibility and transparency of your lenses.
Can cataracts regress?
The cloudy crystalline lens may be removed and replaced with an artificial lens during outpatient surgery. In cases of cataracts accompanied by evolving wet maculopathy, cataract surgery is usually discouraged and postponed until the disease has stabilized.