Firstly, what are cataracts?
Cataracts are cloudy patches in the lens (the transparent structure at the front of the eye) that can make vision blurred or misty. They can develop in one or both eyes, and one eye can often be more affected than the other.
The lens is normally clear and allows light to pass through to the back of the eye. However, if parts of the lens become cloudy (opaque), light is unable to pass through the cloudy patches.
Over time, the cloudy patches usually become bigger, and more of them develop. As less light can pass through the lens, the person's vision is likely to become blurry or cloudy. The cloudier the lens becomes, the more the person's sight will be affected.
Vision changes you may notice if you have cataracts
• Having blurry vision
• Seeing bright colours as faded or yellow instead
• Being extra sensitive to light
• Seeing double (when you see two images instead of one)
• Having trouble seeing well at night or needing more light when you read
• Stronger glasses don’t improve your vision
What you can do to reduce the risks
It is not possible to prevent cataracts. However, there are some steps that you can take to reduce the risk of them developing. For example:
• Not smoking
• Protecting your eyes from sunlight by wearing sunglasses and a hat with a peak or wide brim
It is well known that a healthy, balanced diet is important for your general health, including the health of your eyes. Eating a healthy diet cannot prevent cataracts, but some experts think that:
a poor diet may increase your risk of developing age-related cataracts
a healthy diet may slow down the growth of age-related cataracts
As part of your healthy diet, you should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
It is important to have your eyes tested regularly by an optometrist (a specialist who examines eyes and tests sight) even if you do not wear glasses.
You should have your eyes tested at least every two years. This enables cataracts to be picked up early, as well as any other eye conditions.
Diabetes and cataracts
People with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at an earlier age than others. This is because the high levels of glucose in their blood can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs, causing a number of complications.
If you have diabetes, you should follow your GP's healthcare advice carefully. This will help to reduce your risk of developing cataracts, as well as other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy.
Treating Cataracts with Optilase
About four out of five patients are completely free of glasses after Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) with widely used contemporary multifocal Intra ocular lenses (IOLS).
There are two main types of lens implanted into the eye:
• Monofocal IOLs – these lenses have on specific focal point. Most patients target good distance vision and wear reading glasses. This lens can also be set to give good reading vision with the patient wearing distance glasses post-surgery
• Multifocal IOLs – Multifocal lenses aim to reduce spectacle dependence for a wider range of activities, including intermediate (computer screens) and near (reading) vision. If you are suitable for Refractive lens exchange, your surgeon will discuss which IOL type is the best option for you.
Book a free consultation with Optilase today! The consultation will take one hour and we will be able to assess if you are suitable for our treatments. Call now on +353 1 223 8821.