A cataract is an opacity in the natural, normally clear, human crystalline lens. It leads to gradual, painless, progressive blurring of vision in one or both eyes. Everyone will get a cataract if they live long enough! There are many different forms of cataract, some are yellow, some are white and some are black.
It used to be thought that a cataract had to be ripe before surgery was required; this is now not true. A cataract should be removed when a patient’s vision is affecting his work or leisure.
How do you suspect you might have a cataract? Well, if you make new glasses and you still cannot see well, there is usually something wrong with the eyes and a cataract is the most likely cause, especially if you are over the age of 50.
Fortunately, small incision cataract surgery has progressed to such a level that removing the cataract and replacing it with an acrylic lens implant not only restores, but enhances vision. Indeed, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in any field of surgery. It is arguably also the most successful of all operations with a very low complication rate when performed by experienced surgeons.
What is a cataract?
Cataract is the name given to any opacity in the human lens. The normal human lens is clear like glass, but with age and certain conditions like diabetes and trauma, the lens opacifies leading to cataract formation.