A cataract is a cloudiness of the natural lens of the eye which progresses over time and makes it difficult to see. Optometrists at our Adelaide and Woodville branches have cutting-edge technology at their disposal that can reveal any changes to the lens of the eye that may lead to cataracts, before symptoms appear. Book an eye test for cataract diagnostics and treatment options, or contact us for more information.

What are cataracts?

What types of cataracts are there?

Nuclear sclerotic cataracts

This type of cataract is often age-related and causes a yellowing of the normally clear lens. It can often cause your prescription to shift in a short-sighted direction.

Cortical cataracts

Originating in the periphery of the lens and moving inwards in spokes, this cataract is located in the middle layer of the lens known as the cortex.

Posterior sub-capsular cataracts

These are cataracts located at the back surface of the lens. Because of their location even a mild cataract can cause a large loss of vision. Often these are the result of previous surgery or eye trauma. They tend to be the fastest growing cataract.

CAPTION: A nuclear sclerotic, cortical and posterior sub-capsular cataract.

Cataract treatment and prevention

About half of all Australians aged between 65 to 74 have some form of cataract, so it is important that people in this age group have their eyes examined regularly.

There is no proven method to preventing cataracts, although cigarette smoking and UV exposure have both been shown to increase your risk of them developing. A broad brimmed hat, and sunglasses that meet Australian standards, should be worn outdoors to reduce this risk.

Cataract extraction surgery is the most common eye surgery performed in Australia, with around 190,000 operations undertaken annually. It is often the treatment of choice once the deterioration in your vision starts to interfere with daily life. Most patients have an artificial lens inserted to replace their own lens, with almost all people having improved vision and quality of life afterwards. Cataract surgery is now a relatively minor procedure that is safe and effective, often performed under local anaesthetic.

Regular eye examinations are key for an early diagnosis and proper management of cataracts. Symptoms can include blurred or hazy vision, halos around lights, double vision and increased sensitivity to glare.