A substantial portion of the Australian population will suffer from the early symptoms of cataracts, but this is no cause for alarm.
The early signs of cataracts, such as slight clouding of vision and increased sensitivity to light, are inevitable as we get older. A thorough eye examination usually reveals the early stages of a cataract forming in one or both eyes.
Cataracts are a cloudiness that can form in the lens of the eye. Poor vision results because the cloudiness interferes with the light entering the eye. In the early stages of cataracts, people report that they can’t see as well as they used to, and that they are looking through a mist as well as noticing an increased sensitivity to light.
The role of Optometrists in monitoring cataracts is very important. Optometrists monitor the health of the eye, your general health and the expected improvement after surgery (if required) before recommending cataract surgery. It is not unusual for an Optometrist to be monitoring several hundred patients with developing cataracts.
Today the removal of a cataract is a relatively simple and minor procedure performed under local anaesthetic and does not require an overnight stay in most cases. Cataract surgery improves vision on more than 95% of cases.