One of the main eye conditions that we encounter, as well as the most common conditions our patients have heard of, is that of cataracts. This condition of the eye can lead to a gradual loss of vision, where detail and contrast detection can be reduced and seeing colour is much more difficult.


So what is a cataract?  In our eye we have a focusing lens that, over time, becomes cloudy and misty. This clouding is known as a cataract. There are several types of cataract that can affect the vision in the eye in several ways. Some patients report that their vision is a little blurry, whereas others may tell us that their vision is looking more brown or yellow than normal. It is also possible for the cataract cause double vision. Sometimes this vision can be improved with an update to your glasses, but eventually may need further treatment to restore your vision.


Cataracts very rarely are a cause of concern to health of the eye and are more often an annoyance because of their effect on the vision.  When the vision is affecting the vision enough, perhaps interfering with your life that you cannot read or meet the visual standards required for driving, then you may be offered the opportunity to have them removed in a small operation at one of our nearby hospitals. The cloudy lens will be replaced by an artificial lens, that can often lead to less demand on prescription glasses.


It is well known that cataracts develop with age, but vision scientists have discovered some factors that can increase the chance of a one developing. These include; smoking, increased sunlight exposure to the eye, having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol levels, having diabetes, injuries to the eye and the use of certain medication (including steroids).  We therefore recommend not smoking, wearing sunglasses  where possible, looking after your general health and wearing suitable eye protection if your job or sport recommends it.


There is no need to worry if you think you may be developing a cataract, ask our friendly and approachable opticians Keith, Claire, Ewen and Jason for their advice. To make an appointment call 01249 653292 or call in to our practice on New Road.