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Glynis Nel
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Catarac of the eye

Published on 11/6/2015
For additional information  Click Here

The Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. When someone suffers of cataracts, which is a clouding in the normally clear lens, it causes vision to become proportionately reduced. A  Cataract can affect either one or both eyes.


Early stages of cataract may cause no decrease in the acuity of vision and the eye can look normal to an untrained person. However, there can be other symptoms like glare sensitivity, blurry vision, faded colours and reading difficulties.


The normally clear (black) pupillary area becomes grey, as a milky cloudiness of the lens progresses till the cataract is mature. Once a cataract is mature, it has a great impact on a person’s independence, since only light and dark can be distinguished.


While a cataract is commonly associated with ageing, not everyone who suffers from it is old. Some children are born with cataracts, in these cases, early detection and treatment is critical to prevent permanent damage.  

As well as being hereditary, other causes of cataract can include eye trauma, sunlight exposure, diabetes, genetic disorders or dehydration in children with severe diarrhoeal infection and fevers, and even some medications.

Surgery is necessary when the cataract begins to interfere with daily activities. Ordinarily, a person doesn’t have to wait until the cataract is mature for sight to be restored. Post-operative and follow-up care can often be provided close to home.


Normally a Cataract is treated with a straightforward, 20 minute surgery, performed in most countries by an ophthalmologist. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens tissue, and replacing the natural lens with an implant called an intraocular lens.

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