What is a cataract?

What is a cataract

A cataract is a painless gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the pupil and the iris. This process tends to occur as people get older, but if you are suffering from this condition, there is no need to simply put up with it. At Optegra, we provide leading cataract surgery procedures which reduce your dependence on glasses, and in some cases eradicate the need for them altogether.
To understand the impact of cataracts, you first need to understand the function of the eye’s natural lens and the retina. The retina is situated at the back of the eye; it is a light-sensitive tissue. The lens is the clear part of your eye which helps to focus light onto the retina. Thus, when the lens becomes clouded, vision is impaired.
A cataract is something which develops gradually, resulting in your eyesight getting worse and worse over time. Contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not caused by a film growing across your eye. Your lens is actually made up of protein and water, and cataracts occur when the protein in the lens gathers in such a way as to prevent light passing through. Cataracts are most common in people over the age of 65. You can develop cataracts in both eyes or in just one of them; however cataracts cannot spread from one eye to the other.
It can feel as though you are looking through cracked or frosted glass when you have a cataract, as your vision becomes blurred. This can seem like a mere inconvenience at first. However, if you leave it untreated, it can result in blindness. A cataract can also be extremely detrimental to your ability to do everyday tasks such as reading and driving. To find out more, take a look at our guidance on cataract symptoms.

Different types of cataracts

There are a number of different types of cataracts, as outlined below:
  • A cortical cataract – Cortical cataracts occur in the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus, known as the lens cortex. They are characterised by opacities, which are white and wedge-like. They begin in the lens’ periphery and work towards the centre.
  • A nuclear cataract – This is the type of cataract that is typically associated with ageing. It happens when a cataract forms deep in the nucleus (central area) of the lens.
  • A subcapsular cataract – Finally, we have the subcapsular cataract, which develops at the back of the lens. You have a greater risk of developing these cataracts if you take a high dose of steroid medications or if you have diabetes.

Why should you choose Optegra for cataract surgery?

At Optegra, we pride ourselves on offering every patient a personalised approach to cataract surgery, tailored to your requirements and lifestyle. You will have a consultation with one of our world-class ophthalmic surgeons, who will carry out an extensive evaluation to determine the best treatment for you.
You will see the same surgeon throughout the course of your treatment, from your initial consultation and surgery, to the aftercare you receive after your surgery. This guarantees the best level of care. We also use the most innovative technology available, to ensure the very best results. Book a consultation today to find out if cataract surgery could be right for you.


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