What Is A Cataract?

Mr Glenn Carp – “Within the eye is a structure called the lens.  This is within the middle cavity of the eye and is a clear structure which also is responsible for about a third of the focusing power of the eye.  As we get older, normally into our mid to late sixties or early seventies, we develop accumulations of byproduct within this lens and instead of remaining nice and clear it actually becomes cloudy.  As time goes by, as more deposits are deposited within that original clear structure, it becomes cloudy to the point where the light entering the eyes is scattered or blocked to a point where the vision degrades.  So a cataract is essentially a clouding of the lens within the middle of the eye blocking or scattering the light entering, not allowing it to achieve its optimal positioning on the retina behind.”

Cataracts Explained Further…

When proteins, naturally present in the lens of the eye, coalesce they form a cataract. In cataracts, the lens becomes opaque, vision starts to cloud, and eyesight progressively blurs. Eventually, there is no option but to remove the cataract by surgery.

A cataract can occur in one or both eyes and develops in one of the following ways:

  • Surgeons now see age-related cataracts as a normal part of ageing, and they treat around 200,000 UK patients for cataracts every year.
  • Congenital Cataracts can form at birth or in early childhood
  • Secondary Cataracts often appear after steroid use or the onset of other health conditions such as diabetes.
  • Traumatic Cataracts can form after injury to the eye, directly following either the injury or years later.

Mr Glenn Carp explains the meaning of cataracts.

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