Worried that you might have cataracts?


What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a very common eye condition that usually develop as you age. They develop when the eye’s clear lens forms cloudy or misty patches. Although cataracts won’t usually cause any damage, they often impact your vision, making it seem like you’re looking through a frosty window. So, treatment is often recommended to help restore your vision and get you back to doing what you love.


What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts can form in one or both eyes and typically develop slowly over several years, so you might not notice any symptoms at first. But usually, you’ll experience blurred or cloudy vision, or have patches where your vision isn’t as clear. It’s a bit like looking through a frosted or foggy window. Cataracts can also cause glare or haloes around lights, which means you might struggle to see your surroundings clearly.


What causes cataracts?

The lens in your eye is usually clear, so that it can focus the light coming into your eye onto your retina, where the images we see get sent on to the brain. Over time, this clear lens naturally starts to become cloudy or develop misty patches, which in turn makes your vision blurrier.


How is it diagnosed?

Your optometrist will usually spot signs of cataracts during your regular eye exam. Then they’ll refer you on to specialists to carry out some more tests on your vision and sort out a treatment plan for you.


What is cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a common procedure that involves removing the cloudy lens (cataract) and replacing it with a new, artificial lens (known as an intraocular lens) to restore your clear vision.


What are the benefits of cataract surgery?

The most obvious benefit is the improvement in your vision. Surgery restores clarity and stops your vision from changing any further. You might also notice an improvement in sharpness, brightness and your perception of colour.

Cataract surgery also offers a chance to correct your glasses prescription, so you can reduce your dependence on glasses. Sometimes you might not need to wear your full-time glasses at all after surgery.


If you are worried that you might have cataracts, please book an eye examination at Holland & James and we can do a pre-cataract assessment. If needed, we can refer you to see a specialist quickly (normally within 2 weeks) via the NHS to a local cataract centre. We will then also carry out a post-cataract assessment after the surgery to give you peace of mind and see what new eyewear needs you may have.