Have you noticed lately that you've become more sensitive to light and your night vision is not what it used to be? Are your eyes dark brown? These factors may indicate that you are developing cataracts.
Of course, you should have an eye test without delay, and if the results show that you need cataract surgery, there is really no need for you to worry unduly.
You are in the company of almost one-third of Australians who have the condition. In fact, there are over 200,000 cataract surgeries performed each year. Here's what you need to know about cataracts and why you can feel very confident about an extremely positive outcome:
Contributing Factors for Cataract Development
Studies have shown that people with darker coloured eyes are more at risk of developing cataracts. In fact, they are more than twice as likely than their lighter eye- coloured counterparts.
Researchers believe that the reason for this phenomenon is that dark colours absorb more light and expose the lens of the eye to more heat over the years, eventually producing a cataract.
Cataracts generally develop along with the ageing process. However, younger people who have been exposed to ultraviolet sunlight over the long term and using no eye protection, are certainly at risk.
Treatment: What to Expect
Cataracts cannot be corrected with glasses and need to be removed.
Fortunately, cataract surgery is a simple day procedure, one of the safest and most effective and carried out successfully every day in Australia. Most techniques use laser surgery to remove the affected or cloudy lens. A very small incision is made to insert a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL, which restores clear vision.
The surgery generally needs no stitches and recovery occurs within a few days. Luckily, once removed, a cataract will not re-develop.
How to Prevent Cataracts
If you are fortunate and your test shows that you have not developed a cataract, you are in a position to take some important preventative measures. Take care to:
Ensure that you always wear good quality sunglasses and protect your eyes from direct exposure to ultraviolet sunlight.
Avoid smoking, because research has shown that smoking is extremely detrimental to eye health and multiplies the risk of developing cataracts.
As well as the factors previously mentioned: light sensitivity and poor night vision, other common indications are blurred vision and colours appearing to be faded or have yellowy tinge.