A cataract is the most common eye condition. It is a clouding of the lens of your eye and occurs as part of the “natural” ageing process predominantly after the age of 60. Over time, the clouding of the lens causes vision problems. The only way to treat a cataract is to replace the cloudy lens with an artificial one.
The lens is the part of the eye through which the light passes and is bundled on the retina. The lens is normally completely clear in young people. With increasing age, from around 45 years old, age-related protein deposition can occur in the lens. With time, this causes the lens to cloud over. If the cloudiness is so advanced that it causes vision problems, this is known as a cataract. Thus, a cataract is predominantly an age-related disease. In rare cases, a cataract can be genetic or triggered by malnutrition, in particular in developing countries.
Blurry vision, reduced visual acuity and strong sensitivity to glare are characteristic symptoms of a cataract. These symptoms typically develop slowly and increasingly limit the vision over time. Every inflammation or change in the eye should be immediately checked by a doctor.
A cataract is diagnosed on the basis of the patient’s medical history, the symptoms and with the help of an eye examination.
Surgical replacement of the cloudy lens with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment for a cataract. It is one of the most frequently undertake surgeries around the world. The procedure is usually carried out on an outpatient basis and only takes around half an hour.