What is a cataract?

A cataract is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.

Causes

Cataracts are common in the elderly due to ageing. A recent Tanjong Pagar study by the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) found that more than eight in 10 people aged 60 and above have some form of cataract.

Prolonged ultraviolet light exposure, long-term use of medication such as steroids and certain conditions like diabetes are also risk factors for its development.

In the young, cataracts can be present at birth or because of injury.

Symptoms

The first sign of cataracts is usually the blurring of vision.

Other complaints

Frequent change of glasses due to increasing short-sightedness in adults

Colours appear dull

Poor vision in bright light

Glare

Haloes around lights

Difficulty reading or watching television or driving at night.

Treatment

Treatment is usually surgical and an outpatient procedure which takes an hour or less to perform.

During the operation, the clouded lens is removed, and a clear artificial lens is implanted.

Post-operation care

The patient is given eye drops for about a month to prevent infection and reduce inflammation

This article was published on April 6 in The New Paper. Get The New Paper for more stories.

The patient is given eye drops for about a month to prevent infection and reduce inflammation