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What is a cataract?

It is where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, so it is difficult to see through.

You may find:

What is the lens?

The lens is inside the eye directly behind the coloured part, which is called the iris. Little muscles are attached to the lens. These move, and by slightly altering its shape they help you focus on what you want to see.

What causes cataracts?

The most common cause is ageing, but occasionally they happen because of injury, or as a complication of other conditions.

Some symptoms:

What can be done to help?

In the early stages of cataract, spectacles may help you see clearly enough.

Will I need an operation?

When your vision has become so poor that it seriously affects everyday life - such as driving, watching TV, or reading - then your optometrist will refer you to an eye specialist, called an ophthalmologist, in the hospital. The ophthalmologist will assess your eyes and help you decide about an operation.

What does the operation involve?

It is often carried out under local anesthetic, and usually as a day-case procedure (no overnight stay). The cloudy lens inside your eye is removed and replaced with a new, clear lens made of special plastic. Afterwards, your visi

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Need an eye test? Choose your nearest practice to make an appointment.

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